According to the Baltimore Sun’s Aaron Wilson, the NFL has hired the league’s first-ever female official.
Thomas has been officiating Conference USA college games since 2007, and has been in the NFL’s referee development program since 2013. She’s worked NFL preseason games in the past as a part of that program, and her performance in those games was apparently strong enough to earn her a spot as a regular-season referee.
Thomas will become the NFL’s first permanent female official, but she won’t be the first to have worked a game. When the league hired replacement officials during the referee lockout in 2012, Shannon Eastin was hired as a temporary, non-union official.