Maia Chaka Makes History As First Black Woman To Officiate An NFL Game

Maia Chaka. Photo: Getty Images

Maia Chaka has made history.

Chaka became the first Black woman to officiate an official NFL game Sunday afternoon (September 12) when the New York Jets went up against the Carolina Panthers, New York Daily News reports.

“When I step on the field for the first time as a NFL official, it’s gonna be a proud moment,” Chaka, 38, said in a video posted by the league. “It’s a proud moment for myself, it’s a proud moment for my family. It’s a proud moment for my community and my students and my coworkers... This historic moment to me is an honor and it’s a privilege that I’ve been chosen to represent women and women of color in the most popular sport in America."

The Rochester, New York native has been part of the NFL's Officiating Development Program since 2014. The league offered her a job as an on-field official back in March, and she officiated some preseason games this summer.

Before her time in the league, Chaka worked as a high school health and physical education teacher for at-risk teens at the Rennaisance Academy in Virginia.

Chaka is one of two women referees in the league alongside Sarah Thomas.

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