A local Rochester woman has made history in the National Football League by becoming the first African-American woman to officiate in the league.

Maia Chaka will become only the second female to officiate an NFL game. Sarah Thomas was the first female to ref a game back in 2015 and became the first female to ref a Super Bowl game this past February.

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Chaka graduated Edison Career & Technology High School in Rochester before heading to Virginia for college.



Rochesterfirst.com

“He goes, ‘Welcome to the National Football League,’ and I just went nuts,” Chaka said. “I asked him, ‘Hey are you punking me, you’ve gotta be kidding me,’ because I’ve been at for so long I just never thought the day would come. I just enjoyed working.”

Both Thomas and Chaka were part of the NFL officiating developmental program seven years ago. Chaka was selected for the program after scouts saw her officiate college games.

Chaka started reffing at local high school games in Virginia before she was selected to ref in the Pac-12 and Conference USA college leagues.

She has been reffing football game for over 10 years now and now will part of one of the biggest football leagues in the world.

We will have to wait a couple of months before seeing Chaka in action. The NFL is expected to return to the field with the Hall of Fame preseason game on August 5th, 2021 featuring Dallas and Pittsburgh.

 

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