Maia Chaka Becomes 1st Black Woman to Officiate NFL Game During Jets vs. Panthers

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 12, 2021

Line judge Maia Chaka arrives for a an NFL football game between the Carolina Panthers and the New York Jets Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Jacob Kupferman)
AP Photo/Jacob Kupferman

The Carolina Panthers' 19-14 victory over the New York Jets didn't just see Zach Wilson's highly anticipated debut under center for the Gang Green.

Maia Chaka was the first Black woman to work as an official in an NFL game.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Maia Chaka will become the first Black woman to officiate an NFL game 👏 <a href="https://t.co/i9rRcBo2cz">pic.twitter.com/i9rRcBo2cz</a>

Prior to the occasion, Chaka said the game would be a "proud moment for myself" and those around her:


Maia Chaka is making history today.<br><br>She will be the first black woman to officiate an NFL game. 👏👏👏<br><br>📺: <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NYJvsCAR?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NYJvsCAR</a> -- 1pm ET on CBS<br>📱: NFL app <a href="https://t.co/EaYYsuEA2J">pic.twitter.com/EaYYsuEA2J</a>

The league announced in March she would join the list of game officials for the upcoming season. She had previously entered the NFL's Officiating Development Program in 2014 and officiated games in the Pac-12 and Conference USA.

Shannon Eastin became the first woman to officiate an NFL game in August 2012, and Sarah Thomas was the first woman to work a Super Bowl, joining the crew as a down judge for Super Bowl LV.

Now, Chaka has etched her name into history.