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Maia Chaka Becomes First Black Female Official in NFL History

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Maia Chaka has been added as an NFL’s game official for the 2021 season, making her the first Black female referee in league history.

Chaka previously served as an official at the college level in both the Pac-12 and Confederate USA.

Chaka was also selected to the NFL’s Officiating Development Program in 2014, which “identifies top collegiate officiating talent to expose them to some of the same experiences as NFL officials, working to determine if they have the ability to succeed as an NFL official.”

“I am honored to be selected as an NFL official,” Chaka said in a league statement. “But this moment is bigger than a personal accomplishment. It is an accomplishment for all women, my community, and my culture.”

When not officiating, Chaka is a health and physical education teacher from Virginia Beach. She graduated from Norfolk State University with a bachelor’s in education in 2006.

“Maia’s years of hard work, dedication and perseverance – including as part of the NFL Officiating Development Program – have earned her a position as an NFL official,” NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations Troy Vincent Sr. said. “As we celebrate Women’s History Month, Maia is a trailblazer as the first Black female official and inspires us toward normalizing women on the football field.”

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