Sarah Thomas officiated the 2021 Super Bowl with the Buccaneers vs. Chiefs, becoming the first female referee to ever officiate a Super Bowl.
Thomas is a woman of football and began officiating high school games in her home state of Mississippi after graduating from the University of Mobile. Her first major referring breakthrough was when she joined the Conference USA in 2007. Sarah Thomas had big dreams and kept working in college football until she was signed with the NFL in 2015. Thomas has been serving the role of a down judge since 2017, meaning she watches the line and calls for any illegal movement done by defensive backs. During the Super Bowl, Thomas was in charge of running the plays, passing plays, and special teams.
It is the norm to see male authority in the world of sports, especially football, but Sarah Thomas is breaking the stereotype. Sarah is not the only woman who is adding to the destruction of the stereotype, she was joined by two female coaches both with Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Lori Locust and Maral Javadifar are the two women alongside the sidelines coaching the all-male team. These women are empowering young girls all across the nation.
Student athlete and SAS senior Alexah Manabat said, “The thought of a female being the referee for an event as popular as the Super Bowl is a fulfilling feeling. #girlpower!”