Eastin breaks NFL on-field gender barrier

Replacement ref makes history

Published On: Aug 09 2012 08:39:06 PM EDT
Female ref
SAN DIEGO -

Shannon Eastin has become the first woman to officiate an NFL game.

Eastin broke the NFL's on-field gender barrier Thursday night, serving as the line judge for a seven-man crew working a preseason game between the Green Bay Packers and San Diego Chargers.

The 42-year-old from Tempe, Ariz., was dwarfed by the players as she lined up in front of San Diego's sideline and had a camera following nearly every move just before kickoff. She seemed at ease in the spotlight and had at least two players shake her hand.

She is among a group of replacement officials working NFL games while the regular refs are locked out.

Eastin is a referee in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, college football's second-highest level, and a 16-year veteran of officiating.

The cap she is wearing will be sent to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.