The Super Bowl has seen a lot of changes this year, but there is one detail about this year’s big game between Kansas City and Tampa Bay that is very remarkable. Sarah Thomas made history as the very first woman to officiate a Super Bowl on Sunday.
NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent, Sr. said in a statement to CBS: “Sarah Thomas has made history once again as the first official female Super Bowl.” He continued, “His elite performance and commitment to excellence earned him the right to officiate the Super Bowl. Congratulations to Sarah for this well deserved honor.
Thomas boarded the team of seven who officiated at Tampa Bay. The referee crew included Fred Bryan, Rusty Baynes, James Coleman, Dino Paganelli, Carl Cheffers and Mike Wimmer. The group has 88 years of NFL officiating experience and 77 combined playoff assignments, including past Super Bowls.
Thomas had already made history two years ago when she became the first woman to referee a playoff game. Additionally, she is the NFL’s first full-time female referee and the first female to appear in a major college football game.
With Thomas as Super Bowl LV referee, she innovates and will certainly not be the first female Super Bowl referee.