Thursday night’s Green Bay vs. Chargers game will bring something new — the first-ever woman official working on an NFL field.
A labor dispute inside the NFL may mean that Thursday will a good day for women in the world of sports.
Officials who have been with the league for years have been asked to turn in their NFL-issued computers after asking for a pay raise and refusing to train their replacements.
One such replacement is Shannon Eastin.
“Eastin was one of the replacement officials in Dallas on Friday to take part in the first training clinic,” said the NFL in a statement, according to the Huffington Post. “Officiating trainers were asked to turn in their company-issued laptops after refusing to train Eastin and others.”
The dispute could lead to the first-ever woman to officiate an NFL game.
The Los Angeles Times’ Sam Farmar tweeted today that Eastin will be officiating at the Packers versus Chargers game. That decision will be history-making.
“Eastin has worked Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference games as well as the Arizona Cardinals’ Red and White game,” said CBS News, “and the Times had previously identified her as one of the referees at an NFL training clinic.”
But she has not yet officiated an NFL game.
Even with the league making history on Thursday, many aren’t happy with the decision.
“They wanted us to train the replacements, which we would absolutely not do,” Jerry Markbreit, one of the officials involved in the labor dispute told the Huffington Post. “We were all officials for 20-plus years. How could we face our people? It’s very discouraging for [the league] to have put us in this kind of situation.”
A former NFL Head of Officials, Mike Pereira, told the Dan Patrick Show that the dispute has brought in a group of people with no experience.
“You’ve got such a mix of people,” he said. “You’ve got guys that have been out of the game for years, you’ve got guys that have officiated in the lingerie football league. You’ve got such a mix right now that it’s not good for the game.”
Photo courtesy Aruna Gilbert / WENN.com