Maia Chaka has become the first black female on the NFL’s list of officials.
The Virginia teacher has been promoted from the league’s officiating development programme after previously refereeing in the college game.
Chaka is the second woman to become an NFL official after Sarah Thomas.
“I am honoured to be selected,” Chaka said. “But this moment is bigger than a personal accomplishment. It is an accomplishment for all women, my community, and my culture.”
Troy Vincent, the NFL’s executive vice president of football operations, said: “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.
“As we celebrate Women’s History Month, Maia is a trailblazer as the first black female official and inspires us toward normalising women on the football field.”