Sarah Thomas has been hired as an NFL official, but from some of the responses around the interwebs, some dudes can’t seem to deal with it.
— Kenneth P. Vogel (@kenvogel) April 3, 2015
“But can she cook?” reads the most popular comment as of this writing. Shortly followed by similar sentiments about making sandwiches, “hilarious” domestic violence jokes about women getting hit on the field and how can a woman break up a fight anyway? Memes appeared of female astronauts making sandwiches in space, Cartman jokes about getting back into the kitchen and pictures of scantily clad female ref Halloween costumes.
I’m sure some (or possibly most) of these comments were meant as “jokes,” but joking about women sucking isn’t funny. Remember that although the NFL and football in general is a man’s sport, the female fan base is growing and is a crucial part of viewership and attendance. There is no reason to think a female ref would be any worse than male refs. You don’t need to have a Y chromosome to know how the game works, be able to keep up with the speed of the game and ensure the rules are followed.
That doesn’t mean the same old, tired arguments against women being able to do things aren’t coming out in full force. A quick look at Twitter proves that.
Here, we have a lovely tweet from a person who brings up periods:
— Beer Club Brandon (@10SecndsOfTaint) April 3, 2015
And another that just says it’s simply not OK:
“Keep that girl away from my team,” reads this charmer:
i better not see that female ref officiating any skins games or ill get pisssed fam
— Andrew Jones (@Its_Jonesy_Baby) April 3, 2015
And of course, she won’t be able to do the job:
First female ref has been instated in the NFL, might be worse than the temp refs a few years ago
— Kyle Stevens (@ItsYaBoySweets) April 3, 2015
Also, this guy should know that she likely will be aware of the risks of the game, considering she’s not new to this type of work:
Seriously though, a female ref is supposed to step in a break up fights, separate teams? This has lawsuit all over it
— Lee’Veon Bell (@Nelson81) April 3, 2015
Sorry, guys who have a problem with this. This is an awesome move, and there is no reason Thomas won’t be able to do this job just as well as her male counterparts. Good for her.