Lifestyle & Belief

Shannon Eastin takes the field Thursday as the NFL's first-ever female referee


Game officials discuss the running of a play during the second half of the Pro Football Hall of Fame game at Fawcett Stadium on August 5, 2012 in Canton, Ohio. On Thursday, the first female ref will join their ranks.


Jason Miller

Shannon Eastin will become the first woman to ever officiate an NFL game on Thursday. 

Eastin will serve as a replacement referee in the pre-season game between the Green Bay Packers and San Diego Chargers, ESPN reported. She has been a referee for high school and small-college conferences, including the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, for 16 years, the Los Angeles Times reported

The regular NFL officials have been locked out by the league since June 3, after their collective-bargaining agreement fell through, according to Rant Sports.

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The negotiations have ground to a halt, "which means the likelihood of replacement referees calling regular season games and beyond is becoming more and more likely as each day passes," Rant reported. 

It is the NFL's first labor dispute since 2001, according to the LA Times. 

Eastin, who is from Tempe, Arizona, is a judo champion as well as a referee: she has won six national judo championships, and at age 11 became the youngest judo athlete to train at the US Olympic Training Center, Fox News reported

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