NFL Makes History with All-Black Officiating Crew for Rams vs. Buccaneers

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistNovember 24, 2020

NFL officials, from left, umpire Barry Anderson, side judge Anthony Jeffries, down judge Julian Mapp, referee Jerome Boger, back judge Greg Steed, field judge Dale Shaw (104), line judge Carl Johnson (101) pose for a photo before an NFL football game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Los Angeles Rams Monday, Nov. 23, 2020, in Tampa, Fla. The game is the first in NFL history to feature an all African-American officiating crew. (AP Photo/Jason Behnken)
Jason Behnken/Associated Press

Monday's game between the Los Angeles Rams and Tampa Bay Buccaneers featured the first all-Black officiating crew in NFL history.

Among those to offer praises were the Seattle Seahawks' Russell Wilson and former NBA star Chris Bosh:

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Tonight’s Rams vs. Bucs game features an all-Black officiating crew for the first time in league history @brgridiron https://t.co/lTggYY6n6V

Russell Wilson @DangeRussWilson

Powerful. https://t.co/XjZm6Hr8HO

Chris Bosh @chrisbosh

👏🏿👏🏿👏🏿 https://t.co/LIfpSSyHpq

Troy Vincent, NFL executive vice president of football operations, told USA Today's Jarrett Bell last week that the league went out of its way to bring the various officials together to send a message.

"This historic Week 11 crew is a testament to the countless and immeasurable contributions of Black officials to the game, their exemplary performance, and to the power of inclusion that is the hallmark of this great game," Vincent said.

Jerome Boger is the head referee and joined by umpire Barry Anderson, down judge Julian Mapp, line judge Carl Johnson, field judge Dale Shaw, side judge Anthony Jeffries and back judge Greg Steed.

Steed is the senior-most member of the group, working in his 18th season. Boger and Johnson have 17 years under their belts, including 2020.

This isn't the first time an NFL referee was involved in making history this year. The Cleveland Browns' Week 3 encounter was the first regular-season game to feature women in the officiating crew as well as the respective sidelines (Browns chief of staff Callie Brownson, Washington offensive assistant and intern Jennifer King and referee Sarah Thomas).