Thursday, August 9, 2012

1st Female Official in NFL History Debuts as Line Judge

Official Shannon Eastin made NFL history as the first woman to ever officiate a sanctioned League contest, thanks in part to a storied collegiate career and to the ongoing labor dispute that has kept NFL referee favorites Ed Hochuli, Terry McAulay and other regulars shut out as football begins its pre-season schedule.

LJ Shannon Eastin is the first female official in NFL history
Shannon Eastin, who has served for four years as a Football Championship Subdivision (Division 1-AA) official in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, previously came under scrutiny from the NFL Referees Associations (NFLRA) for an appearance in the World Series of Poker, though the NFL maintains Eastin's past involvement is of no concern, with NFL spokesman Michael Signora confirming that Eastin, like all replacement officials on the field, had passed the NFL's extensive background check.

In June, the NFLRA filed an unfair labor practice charge against the NFL, alleging the League had employed bad faith practices in negotiating a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) with its officials.

In August of 2011, NFL head of officials Carl Johnson anticipated the hiring of a female official, in an ESPN W article featuring Division I: Conference USA referee Sarah Thomas.

Instead of Thomas, however, it was Eastin who took the call to work Thursday's pre-season Chargers-Packers contest and though she may be seen as a "scab" or strikebreaker by those mindful of the present officiating work stoppage, Eastin nonetheless made history just by being on the field as the first female official in National Football League history.

News: NFL will use first female official at San Diego Chargers-Green Bay Packers preseason game

34 comments :

Curt Crowley said...

Can someone please explain to me what her participation in a poker tournament 5 years ago--long before she got the NFL gig--has to do with her being hired as referee now?

Chickens--t move by the NFL Old Boys Club Referee Association, in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

I don't think it should matter if current officials participate in the WSOP tournaments. It has nothing to do with football.

Anonymous said...

I believe she had a really good game tonight.

Anonymous said...

scab

BAPACop said...

It's got nothing to do with it. It seems like the announcers for the game went into it planning to talk about the officiating and then said the officiating was bad because that's what they were talking about.

Anonymous said...

Pro officials cannot be associated with gambling. Just doesn't look good...in any sport.

Anonymous said...

It's good to see history and all, but it's just really unfortunate it had to happen during a labor lockout. Now forever in the history books of women and football, it will be written that the first female referee in the NFL was a scab.

BAPACop said...

@Anon 10:17: If she were doing that now, or in the past few months, yeah. But when the last time it happened was five years in the past I think enough time has passed and it shouldn't be a problem.

@Anon 10:25: Really, it's unfortunate that anyone has to made a "bad guy" here other than the NFL itself. But the owners and the League aren't about to shut down the season and lose all that money, and you've got a lot of officials for whom this may be their only chance to ever officiate at the highest level...

While I'd like to say that if I were a college football official (which I'm not) I wouldn't take this opportunity to do professional games... I can't be a hundred percent sure that would be the case if I was actually in that position and given that opportunity.

Anonymous said...

She said in an interview that she hoped she could get the chance at a full time NFL job...

Good luck with that one Ms. Scab.

Corey said...

At 9:15 and 11:07,

I think Ron Winter is upset he won't get to debut his new glasses. Congratulations to Ms. Eastin for breaking the gender barrier. The NBA has had at least one female official for almost 15 years. Why are other leagues so hesitant?

BAPACop said...

@Anon 11:07: I seem to be detecting some hostility there. Might I suggest an intelligent discussion instead of just throwing around derogatory terms willy-nilly?

Anonymous said...

PH-UCKING SCAB!

BAPACop said...

@Anon 11:31: Do you have anything intelligent to say, or are you just here to insult people?

Anonymous said...

I agree that professional sports leagues need to diversify their officiating ranks. MLB has had some female umpires come close, but never earn a full-time gig. My problem with this situation is that NONE of these officials are qualified to work an NFL game. Hell, most of them are not even D1 officials. Not only is the NFL rulebook complicated, but the speed of the game is unlike anything any of these folks have seen before. With all the emphasis on safety in the league, the NFL is putting players' (particuarly QB's) safety at risk by having the game managed by folks who are in way over their heads. The strike will last until Brees or Brady or Rodgers goes down for the season because of a cheap shot in a game that got out of control.

JeremyJ said...

Anon 11:07 might be wrong in his word choice. I can assure you that's the words being used by every NFL and College Officials supervisors. This may be some of these people's only shot at the NFL, but Ms. Eastin is delusional if she thinks she's going to get hired by the NFL after this is over. Not only will she not be in the NFL, all of the NCAA will blacklist her as well and she'll be lucky to get a HS Varsity game.

Anonymous said...

Theres something said to be the first woman SCAB in professional football officiating! The difference between this woman and the women that came close in MLB is that they wouldve NEVER have done it by way of scabbing! I

Anonymous said...

If she had ANY chance of becomming a solid official, scabbing is not the way to do it! There must have been a reason she had to scab getting to the NFL! There's something to be said about the mentality of scab officials!

UmpsRule said...

If you intend to go come here and call Eastin a scab, then just GO AWAY! Find another message board to vent on, there are plenty of other ones that are utter garbage. The anon's haven't succeeded in ruining this one yet and I don't care to see it happen. Yes, the replacement officials are awful, but the regular ones weren't so good anyway.

Troy said...

Re: "there must have been a reason she has to scab to get to the NFL"

Nobody remembers anymore, but both Derryl Cousins and John Shulock were so-called "scabs." They seemed to be okay umpires.

Anonymous said...

SCAAAAABBBBBB!!!!! Makes me sick to my stomach that this is getting press. What a joke.

UmpsRule said...

Baloney! It's a shame that the regular refs are being locked out, but they were probably getting paid too much to be part timers that didn't do a good job anyway.

BAPACop said...

@Anon 10:50: Does it? Well, it makes me sick to my stomach that a**holes like you have nothing better to do then come here and insult this woman.

Can we get a moderator to start removing these, please? This shouldn't be tolerated.

BAMF said...

There is nothing above insulting "this woman." The commenters are noting that all replacement officials (including her) are (1) unqualified and (2) scabs. Neither of these statements are sexist in the least.

I'd agree with you if folks were making derogatory statements based on her gender. And certainly there are some fans/players/coaches who incorrectly believe that a female should not be officiating. But I don't see that in the comments above.

All leagues should make it a priority to diversify their officiating ranks. But it needs to be done using qualified officials.

BAPACop said...

@BAMF: I never said they were sexist, and I don't know what comments you're reading, but I'm reading Anons 11:31 and 10:50. Neither of those posts makes any attempt to make any sort of intelligent discussion, nor do they note that she is unqualified; they only call her a scab without any form of intelligent comment whatsoever. And if you want to talk about derogatory statements then "scab" happens to be one in this context. Statements like Anon 7:37 and 7:47 I don't have a problem with, as they do attempt to say something else. But 11:31 and 10:50 are the equivalent of me going on to one of the ejection pages and typing "IDIOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOT!" and nothing else. It contributes no form of intelligent discussion and in its context is clearly only inended to insult.

Anonymous said...

Any chance this chick had of moving up college football.. is long gone.. dumbass scabs

BAPACop said...

@Anon 8:53: And there's another one!

Anonymous said...

See here's my dilemma. It's easy to sit back and say, morally, hey, I'm siding with my fellow officials. The NFL refs are being squeezed and locked out, and I'm not going to support the League treating them like that, so I won't work. Leave that to the scabs. That's why you're not seeing top level D-1 NCAA guys working NFL games right now.

Then again, if I was given the opportunity to work NFL games, and I'm sub-elite college, the opportunity may be so tempting that I'd have to violate ethics and take my shot. I know Bob Davidson for one was sympathetic to the MLB guys who came in and took his job after 1999 and the failed CBA/resignations, so if Bob Davidson can forgive them and says he doesn't blame them for doing it.... you have to think about it. It's a dog-eat-dog world and yes, when the dispute is over, this lady and all the others will be out of the NFL, but hey guess what, they still will have the experience of working an NFL game, even if that means they'll never get back.

BAMF said...

The person who used "chick" is way out of line. Completely sexist remark.

The MLB situation in 99 was different in two important respects. First, the MLB umpires *resigned* their jobs. They were not locked out. They did not strike. They quit. MLB used this as an opportunity to purge the umpiring ranks of substandard performers. Some sued and got their jobs back (West, Darling, Hallion, Davidson, etc.) Second, the replacements were AAA guys, many of whom were working as fill-in umpires for many years. Unfortunately, decided to promote some who clearly were not ready and still are not high-quality (think Cuzzi, Meals, and Bucknor). Nevertheless, these were professional umpires working at the 2nd highest-level of baseball.

One of the things all officials must protect is their integrity. An official should *never* accept an assignment that they know they are not qualified for/trained for. I have declined assignments because I knew that, at the time, I would have been over-my-head and not able to umpire the call in a fair, high-quality manner. Not all officials subscribe to this philosophy--I work with them all the time--but one of the signs of an official with integrity is knowing one's boundaries.

Russ said...

Meals was hired before the 1999 strike and I would not say he is nearly as bad as Bucknor or Cuzzi. He has worked the playoffs for 4 straight seasons.

Anonymous said...

I thought Sarah Thomas would be the first to get the call. I have watched her work and she is GOOD. I don't understand the venom towards the folks working these games...given the chance to work the highest level possible I would JUMP at the chance.

NWA UMP

Anonymous said...

After reading all these posts I must have to second the opinions of calling her a scab! Do it the correct way! If she thought she had ANY chance of becomming a full time official in the National Football League, scabbing is not the way to do it! Shame on her, as well as all the other wanna be NFL scabs!

BAPACop said...

@Anon 10:59: You do realize that most of the replacement officials DON'T think they have any chance of becoming NFL officials, right? That's why they took the opportunity, because it's their only chance to do an NFL level game.

Anonymous said...

Conveniently the NFL and Major D1 conferences worked out an agreement not to use the major D1 officials. That way, those D1 officials that later move up to the NFL, do not have to worry about being called a scab to start with. Nobody at D1 can make the choice to cross or not cross, the decision has been taken out of their hands. This would be a cushy deal for the MiLB guys if MLB had worked out an agreement to not use any MiLB and only use D1 on down to LL umpires until the dispute was settled and then gone back to the normal status quo.
Rather than worry how many women are at the pro level, how many women are at the D1 level? for any of the men's sports. No use talking about the pros when they are being shut out at the amateur level. How many in football were in the bowl games? How many were in the NCAA men's leagues and tournaments? How many were in the baseball Regionals, Super Regionals, CWS much less working a major schedule of conference games in any D1 baseball conference. How many worked the men's volley ball championship in the olympics. How many worked the men's basketball games in the olympics. Before we start blasting on the pro's hiring women, where are all the women being hired at the D1 level in any men's college sports with amateur players. Who has gone into the NBA with Violet lately, in the last 15 years after she and Kantner went in a Kantner was fired. Where are all the other women hired in the NBA? But first, where are all the women hired first in D1 as the step just before the NBA, NFL, or MLB?

Anonymous said...

Scab!!!! The excuse that they may never get the chance is lame. There's a reason they don't work professional games...they're not good enough.

Post a Comment