NFL’s newest ref: ‘I’m a female, and I can’t change that’

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Sarah Thomas has become the first woman to be full-time NFL official, but she’s hesitant to enjoy the spotlight, telling reporters on a conference call that she doesn’t necessarily want to be called a pioneer.

“I’m a female, and I can’t change that. Just because I love the game of football and officiating,” Thomas said, via USA TODAY Sports. “I do honor the fact that a lot of people consider me a trailblazer. But as far as being forced into a trailblazer role … I don’t feel that way. I’ve just been doing it truly because I love it. When you’re out there officiating, the guys don’t think of me as a female. I mean, they want me to be just like them — just be an official — and that’s what I’ve always set out to do.”

Sarah, 41, also isn’t new to firsts – she became the NCAA’s first woman to officiate a game.

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