A Touchdown for Shannon Eastin, the First Female NFL Referee

by Brittany Houlihan


In case you’re anything like me and know nothing about football, you may not know about Shannon Eastin, who has just made sports history. On Sunday night, she refereed the game between the St. Louis Rams and the Detroit Lions, making her the first-ever woman to referee a NFL regular season game.


There was a lot of positive energy surrounding the first female referee, though some of it was admittedly a little sexist. Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Larry Foote said, “Women are more honest and fair than men and they know how to catch a man cheating.” (Sounds like Foote has had firsthand experience with women who can spot cheaters.)



Nonetheless, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was also enthused. “We’ve been working along this path to try to properly train and prepare a female official, and now we have the opportunity.”  It’s nice to know there are plans to introduce a stronger female presence to a predominantly male field, and not just in the form of more beer-selling gals in the stands. Now that’s something to cheer for.


Images via nfl.com, helmet2helmet.com

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