Yesterday, the infamous Glass Ceiling got a another pretty big crack in it: Shannon Eastin is the first woman ever to referee a National Football League game. Touchdown! Last night, 42-year-old Eastin presided over the game between the Green Bay Packers and the San Diego Chargers. It was pretty great to see a woman in the traditionally masculine black-and-white uniform.
Eastin, previously a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference referee crew chief, has over 17 years of experience including high school games. So what pushed Eastin through the doors of the NFL? Unfortunately it wasn’t her qualified credentials. The football league is dealing with a referee lockout and is using replacements right now. But hey, whatever gets you there. It’s an opportunity at the least!
Eastin knows she’s going to get scrutinized far more than her male counterparts. Replacements rarely know all the weird little nuances common in refereeing. But she’s doing it for the girls.
“I want to encourage women: Don’t be afraid,” she told the Associated Press. Those are some words to live by. We’re here rooting for you, Eastin!
Photo courtesy of Yahoo Sports