NFL makes history by hiring first African American female official
Maia Chaka has been added to the NFL roster of game officials for the 2021 season, the league announced today. Chaka makes history as the first Black woman ever named to the NFL's officiating staff.
"I am honored to be selected as an NFL official," Chaka said. "But this moment is bigger than a personal accomplishment. It is an accomplishment for all women, my community, and my culture."
Chaka enters the NFL after an outstanding collegiate officiating career, including stints in the Pac-12 Conference and Conference USA.
In 2014, Chaka was selected for the NFL's Officiating Development Program, which identifies top collegiate officiating talent to expose them to some of the same experiences as NFL officials, working to determine if they have the ability to succeed as an NFL official.
"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," said Troy Vincent, Sr., NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations. "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."
A health and physical education teacher in the Virginia Beach public school system, Chaka has been dedicated to improving the lives of children throughout her professional career. A graduate of Norfolk State University, Chaka earned her bachelor's in education in 2006 before embarking on her teaching and officiating careers.