Maia Chaka To Make History As First African-American Female Official In NFL

As we celebrate Women's History Month, history will be made in the NFL this season. Maia Chaka will become the first African-American female official in the league. She's the latest in a growing trend of women in the NFL; CBS2's Steve Overmyer reports.

Video Transcript

MAURICE DUBOIS: As we celebrate Women's History Month, history is going to be made in the upcoming NFL season.

ALICE GAINER: Maia Chaka will become the first African-American female official in the league. She's the latest in a growing trend of women in the NFL. CBS 2's Steve Overmyer is in the newsroom with more. Steve.

STEVE OVERMYER: Yeah, Maurice and Alice, the NFL is built on diversity. I mean, teams need diversity in players' size and skills to be successful. But the game is much deeper than just the players. And in the NFL of today, women are finding their footing.

Maia Chaka is the latest in a new trend-- women in the NFL. Chaka will become the first African-American female official this year, a job she's earned as an outstanding ref in college. The Virginia teacher has been part of the NFL's Officiating Development Program for the past seven years.

Barriers continue to be broken in the NFL. A 2020 survey reveals women make up 47% of the NFL's fan base, and those girls have someone to look up to. The NFL had eight female coaches this year. Chelsea Romero is the Rams' strength coach. Cristi Bartlett is the strength coach for the Titans. Callie Brownson is the Browns' tight end coach. The Washington assistant running back coach is Jennifer King. And Robyn Wilkey is the assistant to the head coach of the Bears.

Last year, Katie Sowers became the first woman to coach in the Super Bowl. This year, Tampa Bay's Maral Javadifar and Lori Locust became the first women coaches to win the Super Bowl. Meanwhile, the first female ref, Sarah Thomas, officiated that game.

These women are paving a road for the future generations of young girls and reminding us it is important to be the first, but more important to make sure you're not the last. And one more note. Former Oakland Raiders CEO Amy Trask is a pioneer in the sport. She says she's excited for the day when women in the NFL are no longer noteworthy, but rather normal. Maurice, Alice.

MAURICE DUBOIS: All right. Feels like we're kind of getting there, Steve.

STEVE OVERMYER: We are.

MAURICE DUBOIS: Thank you. All right.