Shannon Eastin Makes NFL History

She's the first woman to officiate a regular-season game

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Sep 9, 2012 2:05 PM CDT

(Newser) – Shannon Eastin has made NFL history. Eastin was the line judge in today's St. Louis Rams-Detroit Lions game, making her the first woman to be an official in a regular-season game. She is among the replacement officials hired by the league while the regular officials are locked out. Replacement officials are working games for the first time in 11 years. The only time her pony tail could be seen was during the national anthem, after which she tucked it under her cap and got ready to work.

The 42-year-old resident of Tempe, Ariz., has worked as a referee in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference—college football's second-highest level—and has 16 years of officiating experience. MEAC officials declined comment on Eastin, as did the NFL in the days leading up to the groundbreaking assignment. "Commenting on individual officials is not something we do," league spokesman Greg Aiello wrote in an email. "Her place in league history speaks for itself."

Shannon Eastin, center, works with fellow officials during an NFL preseason football game between the San Diego Chargers and the Green Bay Packers, Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012, in San Diego.   (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)
Line Judge Shannon Eastin (27) gives a thumbs up during the first half of an NFL preseason football game between the Houston Texans and the Minnesota Vikings, Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012, in Houston.   (AP Photo/Dave Einsel)
Line judge Shannon Eastin takes the field during an NFL preseason football game between the San Diego Chargers and the Green Bay Packers, Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012, in San Diego.   (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)
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