Sarah Thomas – First Female Judge in the NFL

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FILE - In this Nov. 15, 2015 file photo, NFL official Sarah Thomas signals in the second half of an NFL football game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Jacksonville Jaguars in Baltimore. Thomas, who was the first female to be a full-time game official in the NFL will again be the NFL's only female game official in 2016. (AP Photo/Gail Burton, file)

FILE – In this Nov. 15, 2015 file photo, NFL official Sarah Thomas signals in the second half of an NFL football game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Jacksonville Jaguars in Baltimore. Thomas, who was the first female to be a full-time game official in the NFL will again be the NFL’s only female game official in 2016. (AP Photo/Gail Burton, file)

By Chris Barnes

While Hillary Clinton seeks to turn red states blue and become the first female POTUS, Sarah Thomas prowls football fields, clad in black-and-white stripes, throwing yellow flags at intimidating men as the first permanent line judge in the history of the NFL. Who knew?

What do we know about Sarah Thomas? She hails from Pascagoula, MS, home of Jimmy Buffett. While he sang about Margaritaville and Come Monday, she earned her credentials as an NFL official.

After graduating from the University of Mobile in Mississippi on a basketball scholarship, she played with men in a church league for two years. Contrary to what you might suspect, men’s church leagues are highly competitive. Opponents will elbow you in your side, pull your shorts down, and then quote a Bible scripture about forgiveness. Can I get an amen from the congregation? Don’t mess with her, fellas.

In 2007, she officiated a game between Memphis and Jacksonville State. In 2009, she was a referee in the Little Caesar’s Pizza Bowl. In 2011 she was the first woman to work a Big 10 game—Northwestern vs. Rice.

She made her NFL debut on April 8, 2015, in the game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the and the Houston Texans. Did you hear about it? Probably not. As it should be. Let the players decide the games … not the referees.

When questioned about her success she said, “I didn’t set out to be to the first or a pioneer, but I will embrace it.” This is a huge accomplishment and she should be congratulated on it.

Ladies, don’t let a sport dominated by men scare you off. Women give birth to males and make most of the critical calls in their son’s lives. Society can handle this. It’s safe. – Play Ball.