The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Community News Network

July 9, 2013

Women referees set to break NFL's glass ceiling

(Continued)

NEW YORK —

About 47 percent of the 108.4 million people who watched the 2013 Super Bowl were female, according to Nielsen data.

Thomas, who officiates college football in Irving, Texas- based Conference USA, worked an Indianapolis Colts minicamp last month. She'll call NFL preseason games in August.

"It's pretty quick," Thomas said in a telephone interview. "In those scrimmage games you sit back and think it's really not, but when you start digging into every responsibility at that position, you really do realize it's a lot faster."

She's already proven herself in the NCAA's top level, the Football Bowl Subdivision, said Gerald Austin, a former NFL referee who worked in three Super Bowls and is now coordinator of officials for Conference USA.

"Her judgment on calls has graded out very high," Austin said in a telephone interview. "Let the coaches coach the game, let the players play the game, but when there's a call that needs to be made then have the wherewithal and courage to step up and make the call. She's shown adeptness at knowing when you should pull the trigger."

The National Basketball Association has used female referees since 1997, when Violet Palmer and Dee Kantner were hired. Major League Baseball has never had a woman umpire.

Thomas, who has two boys, nine and 12, and a six-month-old girl, also works full-time in pharmaceutical sales for Bagsvaerd, Denmark-based Novo Nordisk.

She squeezes in time throughout the week to watch game film and talk to colleagues about situations and rules. Most NFL game officials are part-time, and they will make an average of $173,000 this season under their collective bargaining agreement.

"You just do it," she said, while expressing appreciation for help from her husband, Brian. "I have to tend to the kids, I have to do my job, and I have to get ready for football season. It's just what I have to do."

Text Only
Community News Network
Photos


Poll

Which foreign crisis is the biggest threat to the security of the United States?

Russia-Ukraine
Israel-Palestine
Iraq
None of the above
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee