NFL: Shannon Eastin Could Referee Some Games in 2012

Zachary JamesCorrespondent IAugust 1, 2012

Photo Courtesy: Se Sports Officiating
Photo Courtesy: Se Sports Officiating

Women are beginning to take charge in some professional sports, and now, the NFL could be the next sport making that stand.

Shannon Eastin could be part of replacement referees, a group who will take the place of usual refs, like Ed Hochuli. The usual suspects in zebra stripes are currently working out a new deal with the NFL. They're not on strike—they're being forced out of work by the NFL.

Replacement referees are going to be in place until a deal is made.

As reported by Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times, Eastin would become the first woman to be on the football field as a referee.

Eastin was seen at the first training clinic in Dallas last week, which begs the question: Is Eastin going to get the opportunity to officiate NFL games? 

Some officials are not warm to the idea. Nine officials were asked to return their company-issued laptops back to the league after not wanting to train a woman to take their spot.

In return, they'll be sitting at home during the preseason watching her make the calls.

"They wanted us to train the replacements, which we would absolutely not do," said Jerry Markbreit, one of the officiating trainers (via "We were all officials for 20-plus years. It's very discouraging for (the league) to have put us in this kind of situation."

It's not like Eastin is being thrown in without any experience. She has officiated Division I games in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.

Women have made their mark already in other leagues. In the NBA D-League, there are a few women making their way up the ladder as they try to make it to the NBA.

So why can't ladies make their way up to the NFL?

UPDATE (8/6, 1:30 PM EST): According to, Eastin will be officiating on Thursday during the Green Bay Packers vs. San Diego Chargers game.