NFL – Just for Men?

The National Football League is a male dominant sport with everything from players to coaches being men.  With the size and athleticism of the players being thrown around on the field, it would only make sense that men are out there to officiate the game… or is that so?

With the start of the 2012 NFL season starting off in a lockout with the official referees, new opportunities for “replacement refs” arose and women are not only on the sidelines in skirts shaking for fans.  Shannon Eastin, a female referee that has been coaching college games for over 15 years, took this opportunity to step up to the National level in a preseason game with the Packers facing the Chargers.  As you can bet, there were differing opinions to this situation.

It could be seen that Shannon was simply just being used by the NFL to fill in for the original refs and nothing more.  Although she has many years experience officiating, there were many other potential refs with much more impressive accomplishments.  With this being said, could this be seen as the way the NFL sees women to end the lockout and get the official refs back?  That they are in fact willing to bring in even women to fill the place of the officials rather than settle the disagreements on pay?  Also, will this change the aggressiveness in the game for players?  Will they not only have to worry about how hard or where they hit but also what comes out of their mouths in front of a lady?  These are questions that arose from that game mainly because this is the first time a woman has reffed in the NFL, ever, and under such circumstances as the lockout with the real referees.


With every new event, especially in professional sports, comes controversy.  The positive outlook to this occurring is that a woman actually was a part of an NFL game.  This shows just how far society has come in even the past 100 years with woman being placed more on an equal level as men.  Even though there is such controversy over such issues now, I have no doubt that one day it will be just a normal event.  Change is different to people, something new.  There will be debate because of something new, until that new is normal.  I feel this was a good step for the NFL, regardless if it came from negative circumstances.  Regardless, history was made with Shannon Eastin.

This entry was posted in Sports, Work. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to NFL – Just for Men?

  1. dunit4rays says:

    In my opinion, during the era of the replacement refs, she was definitely one of the most qualified referees the NFL had.

  2. I don’t know if this “shows how far society has come” but I did think it was pretty cool. The whole business of being a professional referee is somewhat mysterious to me. One would suppose that refs were themselves players in their younger days and so know the rules of the game by having once played. How does a woman get trained to become a football ref?

  3. andersonk1 says:

    I would say that gender should not be taken into account when hiring referees, the more knowledgeable individual should get the job. Although, for the most part, males know more about football than females, therefore there will probably not be but a slight few highly-qualified females that can officiate at the national level.

  4. ajkorngage says:

    I do agree that things should not come down to gender, race, or any other discriminatory feature when deciding on a position. Men are more knowledgeable, for the most part, about football due to how society has brought us up. Boys play these sports all growing up whereas it is rare for a girl to play a sport such as football. Overall, any position should in fact come down to skills and qualifications to do the job at hand. I believe this was more the case than gender in this situation. Also, Shannon stepped up and volunteered during times where the “official” officials were on a lockout.

  5. relmo003 says:

    i don’t really understand why its such a big gender issue surrounding this. its awesome that this happened and she had the opportunity to do this. but it sucks that people feel as if she doesn’t know as much about the game because shes a woman. its interesting how sometimes society makes it seem like knowing about male sports is something only a male can know about and understand.

  6. Chelsie Hendrickson says:

    I agree with the statement above, I think it is great that she got the opportunity to do this however the criticism surrounding is unjust. Just because she is a female does not mean that she is any less capable of knowing the rules and about the game of football.

  7. ajkorngage says:

    I agree with that. Media runs the world. The focus on her being a female reffing an NFL game is what makes the commotion. Things that should just be accepted are made into much more in society.

  8. Most of anything now a day’s is all about publicity and money. The NFL is a money profiting organization so anything they can use, like most companies, to profit from they are going to blow it up as much as possible. I do agree with these commits and hate how the media blows everything up. If the women can officiate the game power to her! No need for all the commotion.

Comments are closed.