Sarah Thomas

Life Lessons from NFL Official #53 (the Only One Who Wears Mascara)

Sarah ThomasMany female firsts are lifetime dreams come true. But some are more a matter of chance, the happenstance of finding something you’re good at when barriers are coming down.

The latter was the case for Sarah Thomas, the first woman to be an NFL official. “I was working as a paralegal when my older brother said one day that he was going to a football officials’ meeting,” she recalls. “I thought it could be a way to give back to organized sports—I’d played basketball in college—while earning some extra cash.”

Immediately, she was enthralled. “It’s actually funny, because as an athlete, I hated the officials and they hated me,” Thomas says. “But I fell in love with studying the rulebook. It’s fascinating.” Read More

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