Maia Chaka has made history as the first woman of color to officiate an NFL game.
She is the second woman hired as an NFL official, following Sarah Thomas who refereed this year’s Super Bowl.
Maia said ahead of her first official (pun intended) game that it would be a proud moment and in her video released by the league, she repeats this sentiment: “This historic moment is not just for me but also women everywhere who defy odds every day.”
“This historic moment is not just for me but also women everywhere who defy odds every day.”
Maia Chaka is making history today.
She will be the first black woman to officiate an NFL game. ???
— NFL (@NFL) September 12, 2021
Maia said she was personally honored. “But it’s not just about me,” Chaka continued in her interview for The Associated Press . She went on to explain that “this moment is bigger than my personal accomplishment.” Further saying “It is an accomplishment for all women, my community, and my culture.”
Chaka has made a career officiating college football, having officiated multiple Division I level games and teaches health, physical education in Virginia Beach public schools. She joined the NFL’s Officiating Development Program in 2014