Sarah Thomas set a record by stepping into Raymond James Stadium for Super Bowl LV. She’s the first woman to be an on-field referee.
Thomas earned the honor as the National Football League selected its officials ahead of Sunday’s matchup between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Kansas City Chiefs.
It marks quite a culimination of first for Thomas, who is in her sixth season as an NFL referee.
On Sunday, the league’s officiating team took a minute out to honor Thomas with a photo through Twitter.
Sarah Thomas Works Her Way Up To NFL’s Big Game
Before getting into the NFL, Thomas was the first woman to officiate in a major college football game, a bowl game, and the first to officiate a game in a Big Ten stadium.
Thomas is a native of Pascagoula, Miss., and has been married to husband Brian since 2000. They have three children, Brady, Bailey, and Bridley Thomas.
If you watch the game on TV, then look for a referee wearing No. 53. That’ll be Thomas right in the midst of the game.
Carl Cheffers is lead referee on the field.
“Sarah Thomas has made history again as the first female Super Bowl official,” Troy Vincent, NFL EVP of Football Operations, said leading into the game. “Her elite performance and commitment to excellence has earned her the right to officiate the Super Bowl. Congratulations to Sarah on this well-deserved honor.”
Thomas Says Peers On Field See Her Simply As An Official
Thomas did an interview on “NFL Total Access” where she talked about her role as an official and her career so far.
“There are still those who identify me as a female official,” Thomas said. “A lot of them are young females or female executives or employees … as far as my peers and those that are on the field, coaches, players, no, they see me as an official. That’s exactly what I want.
“Every time I get to walk through that tunnel I say there’s a flip of the switch and that is a huge adrenaline rush,” she said.
Sarah Thomas makes history, once again, and she’s ready to take her spot on the field for Super Bowl LV.