The NFL announced Friday it has added Maia Chaka to the roster of game officials for the 2021 season, making her the first Black woman to join league's on-field officiating team.
What she's saying: "I am honored to be selected as an NFL official,” Chaka said in a statement Friday. "But this moment is bigger than a personal accomplishment. It is an accomplishment for all women, my community, and my culture."
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The big picture: Chaka's hire "inspires us toward normalizing women on the football field," Troy Vincent, Sr., NFL executive vice president of football operations, said in a statement.
Vincent called Chaka a "trailblazer," citing her "years of hard work, dedication and perseverance." She joins the NFL after collegiate officiating stints in the Pac-12 Conference and Conference USA.
Chaka was identified as a top officiating talent when she was selected for the NFL's Officiating Development Program in 2014.
A graduate of Norfolk State University, she got her start as a health and physical education teacher.
Chaka will join Sarah Thomas as the only women to officiate NFL games, per ESPN.
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