Maia Chaka made history for the 2021 season as the first Black female to officiate in the NFL.
The announcement was made exclusively on NBC’s “The TODAY Show” Friday morning where Chaka revealed she knew about it since March.
“I am honored to be selected as an NFL official,” Chaka said in a statement released by the league. “But this moment is bigger than a personal accomplishment. It is an accomplishment for all women, my community, and my culture.”
Chaka is the third female official to join the 2021 NFL team along with Sarah Thomas, who is the first permanent female game official, and Shannon Eastin, the first woman to officiate an NFL game.
She began her career at Renaissance Academy as a teacher in Virginia Beach where she later worked in the Pac-12 Conference and Conference USA and made her way to the National Football League’s Officiating Development Program.
The program works to identify college officials who could go to the pros and she was among 21 referees that were chosen
She has put in the work to get where she is now and NFL Vice President of Officiating Dean Blandino agrees, “She’s shown progress at every level. We look forward to her continuing her career in officiating.”
Chaka’s journey has inspired many individuals and encourages women to fulfill other positions in the NFL because there is a need for “a woman’s touch” to diversify the league.