Super Bowl LV's hottest topic might be the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tom Brady and the likes of it. But history was made at the 55th Super Bowl and one that will be remembered for a long time. Super Bowl got its first female referee, a momentous milestone to shatter the glass ceiling. Sarah Thomas became the first female referee in the NFL's biggest game.
Thomas got to officiate a Super Bowl - a task dedicated to men - not women or even people of colour. But the appointment of Thomas goes down in history.
"Sarah Thomas has made history again as the first female Super Bowl official. Her elite performance and commitment to excellence has earned her the right to officiate the Super Bowl. Congratulations to Sarah on this well-deserved honour," NFL's executive vice president of football operations, Troy Vincent said of this historic moment.
Who is Sarah Thomas?
Sarah Thomas, aged 47, has many records to her name. Before the Super Bowl, she made history by becoming the first woman full-time referee in the NFL in 2015. Her official season debut was at Houston Texans vs Kansas City Chiefs game in 2015. Her first football-officiating playoff was in 2019.
Thomas rose NFL ranks from a line judge. She became a down judge in 2017. Adding more firsts to the list, Thomas was the first woman to officiate a major college football game and to officiate in a Big Ten stadium.
"It's just so meaningful. I never set out to be the first in any of this, but knowing the impact that I'm having on not just my daughter but young girls everywhere, women everywhere, when I get on that field, and I take it all in, I know that I'm probably gonna get a little teary eyed. It's just remarkable, and I'm truly honored and humbled to be a part of this year's Super Bowl crew," Thomas was quoted as saying .
The remarkable milestone didn't go unnoticed and everyone from FLOTUS to an average American was in awe of her achievement.
"I'm cheering you on today, Sarah Thomas!" First Lady of the United States of America, Jill Biden tweeted.