NFL ref Maia Chaka to make history during Panthers-Jets game

Chaka will be the first Black female to officiate a regular-season NFL game.

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“It’s a privilege that I’ve been chosen to represent women and women of color in the most popular sport in America,” Chaka said in a statement before Sunday’s game.

The Panthers and Jets are set to square off at 1 p.m. ET.

In March, the league announced Chaka would be added to the roster of officials for the 2021 season.

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“I am honored to be selected as an NFL official,” she said in a statement at the time. “But this moment is bigger than a personal accomplishment. It is an accomplishment for all women, my community, and my culture.”

Chaka worked in the Pac-12 Conference and Conference USA in college football before making the jump to the NFL, according to NFL.com. She was also a physical education and health teacher in Virginia.

“Maia’s years of hard work, dedication and perseverance — including as part of the NFL Officiating Development Program — have earned her a position as an NFL official,” NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent said in March. “As we celebrate Women’s History Month, Maia is a trailblazer as the first Black female official and inspires us toward normalizing women on the football field.”

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