By Kevin Patra
Maia Chaka is the latest trailblazing woman in the NFL.
Chaka was added Friday to the NFL roster of game officials for the 2021 season, becoming the first Black woman in league history to be named to the NFL’s officiating staff.
“I am honored to be selected as an NFL official,” Chaka said in a statement. “But this moment is bigger than a personal accomplishment. It is an accomplishment for all women, my community, and my culture.”
A health and physical education teacher in the Virginia Beach public school system, Chaka joins the NFL after working at the collegiate level, including stints in the Pac-12 Conference and Conference USA.
In 2014, she was part of the NFL’s Officiating Development Program, which works to identify college officials who could leap the pros.
“Maia’s years of hard work, dedication and perseverance — including as part of the NFL Officiating Development Program — have earned her a position as an NFL official,” Troy Vincent, Sr., NFL executive vice president of football operations, said. “As we celebrate Women’s History Month, Maia is a trailblazer as the first Black female official and inspires us toward normalizing women on the football field.”