She was the down judge during the New England Patriots-Los Angeles Chargers matchup on Sunday, making her the first woman to ever work as an on-field official in a postseason game.
She was hailed by her state’s senior U.S. senator, Roger Wicker, who noted that she was spending Sunday in chilly conditions at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.
Shout out to Mississippian Sarah Thomas! First female NFL official to call a playoff game— Stay warm and call ‘em as you see ‘em. pic.twitter.com/N102OvVM4v
— Senator Roger Wicker (@SenatorWicker) January 13, 2019
“She has been outstanding,” former Panthers and Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith Sr., now an NFL Network analyst, said of Thomas before Sunday’s game. “She knew exactly what she was doing — if guys tried to challenge her, she didn’t back down. She was like, ‘This is my job. This is what you did wrong,’ or, ‘Good catch’ or, ‘You didn’t drag your feet,’ and she moved on and did her job.”
Smith added that he thought Thomas would submit an “exceptional” performance Sunday, “probably better than some of the guys there already.”
Mississippi's own Sarah Thomas becomes the first woman on-field official in a postseason game.
What a time to be alive. Girls rule. pic.twitter.com/vVUoLCX9Aq
— Rachel Richlinski (@RachRichlinski) January 13, 2019
On Sunday, Thomas’s achievement was cheered by, among others, Billie Jean King. “You have to see it to be it, and little girls everywhere are watching,” the women’s rights activist and former tennis star tweeted. “Way to go, Sarah Thomas!”
For the first time in history, a woman will officiate an NFL playoff game. You have to see it to be it, and little girls everywhere are watching. Way to go, Sarah Thomas! #LACvsNE #NFLPlayoffs https://t.co/jVR4SPUrnd
— Billie Jean King (@BillieJeanKing) January 13, 2019
On Saturday, when the Chiefs topped the visiting Colts, Terri Valenti became the first woman to serve as a replay official for an NFL playoff game.
It’s truly the golden age of women officiating.
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