NFL Hires First Female Referee

 Photo from  BELLE & WHISTLE: Sarah Thomas, here working a 2009 bowl game in Detroit

Photo from

BELLE & WHISTLE: Sarah Thomas, here working a 2009 bowl game in Detroit

Women empowering women is what we're all about here at Your Beautiful Story so I'm happy to share a story about a powerful woman I heard about today. 

I grew up with a family that watched football religiously (Go Redskins!), but it never occurred to me the lack of female presence in such a male-dominated game. Fast forward a decade (or two) and it's been announced that the first woman referee has been hired by the NFL: Sarah Thomas (no relation to co-founder of YBS Stacey Thomas) ;-).

Sometimes you don't realize something is a big deal until it's made a big deal. Although our society has advanced so much from the days of segregation, women's rights, and laws affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, we still aren't where we need to be. The fact that it's 2015 and this is the first time a woman has been considered to referee for the NFL baffles me. According to, Sarah started out by walking into a meeting for prospective football officials almost 20 years ago and, despite the skepticism, starting reffing for college football. You can read here for more info on Sarah's career and accomplishments, but the fact that she's been reffing for as long as she has without being considered by the NFL until today because she's a woman baffles me. Again, a problem that I didn't even really know was a problem.

Sarah Thomas pioneering this fight wasn't even on purpose. She's just a great ref who loves what she does, "'The thing is, I've never set out to be the first and that hasn't changed... I do this because I love it.'" Thomas told Jane McManus of And that is what we should all do with whatever we set out to do. Do it for the love of it. And if you just so happen to pioneer your own fight, more power to ya!

I hope all the women reading Your Beautiful Story set out to do the same thing. Women empowering women. Can you imagine how much we could accomplish if we did it for the love of it, together?

xxoo, Kaitlin