Virginia Beach’s Maia Chaka becomes first Black woman to officiate NFL game

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CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA – SEPTEMBER 12: Line judge Maia Chaka #100 signals during the game between the Carolina Panthers and the New York Jets at Bank of America Stadium on September 12, 2021 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Virginia Beach’s Maia Chaka became the first ever Black woman to officiate an NFL game on Sunday.

Chaka worked as a line judge for the Jets-Panthers game in Charlotte. The former health and physical education teacher at Renaissance Academy in Virginia Beach now works as a student and program success coordinator at An Achievable Dream in Virginia Beach.

“It’s a privilege that I’ve been chosen to represent women and women of color in the most popular sport in America,” Chaka said on the official NFL Instagram post before the game.

There have only been female officials in the league’s history: Chaka, Sarah Thomas and Shannon Eastin.

Chaka is a 2006 Norfolk State University graduate and the league made the historic announcement back in March on the Today Show.

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