News of her appointment has ruffled many NFL fans' feathers, but despite the backlash, the organization's call is telling. Unlike other sports, including cricket and soccer, the NFL has been slow to hire women as referees.
But this marks a change.
Thomas has plenty of experience officiating games: She's worked Conference USA, and Fox Sports reports she was the first woman to officiate a bowl game. Additionally, she's in the NFL's officiating development program and last season, Thomas worked a preseason game.
In 2013, NBC Nightly News aired a segment featuring Thomas and her work, explaining she was ready to take on referring at a professional level.
"Tonight, a lot of barriers are made to be broken and a big one may be about to break in the NFL. That's if, one woman, who has been working her way up through the minors, gets her way and makes her to the pros as a ref," NBC reported.
And now, in 2015, it's happening.
The news has been passed along from Aaron Wilson's (of The Baltimore Sun) Twitter account:
And in less than six hours, it has caught an overwhelming amount of attention.
And avid NFL fans ourselves, we'd say this is awesome.
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