Maia Chaka Becomes First Black Woman to be Named an NFL Official

Maia Chaka has become the first Black female official in NFL history, as the league announced Friday that she has been added to the roster of officials for the 2021 season.

Chaka, who has officiated for several years on the college level, including stints in the Pac-12 Conference and Conference USA, has participated in the NFL’s officiating development program since 2014.

Troy Vincent, the NFL’s executive vice president of football operations, said in a statement that Chaka’s “years of hard work, dedication and perseverance … have earned her a position as an NFL official.”

The milestone comes just weeks after Sarah Thomas became the first woman to work a Super Bowl as part of the officiating crew.

“As we celebrate Women’s History Month,” Vincent added, “Maia is a trailblazer as the first Black female official and inspires us toward normalizing women on the football field.”

Chaka is a health and physical education teacher in the Virginia Beach public school system and graduate of Norfolk State University.