The NFL preseason’s started and football season is right around the corner. However, the drama’s already begun. Thanks to officials being locked out, Roger Goodell and co. are using replacement refs in lieu of dishing out more dough to the usuals. All those politics are fine and dandy but there’s been one notable side-effect that will likely be of significance if the real referees aren’t back by Week 1 – the new officiating crew includes a woman named Shannon Eastin.
Don’t get it twisted. By no means am I questioning her ability to make correct calls and all that. Rather, I’m wondering aloud whether the male-dominated sport is okay with the notion of female referees in football. There’s long been a stigma against the fairer sex when it comes to sports. Women have traditionally been excluded from being a part of the major leagues, whether it be coaching, reffing or most other roles.
Objectively speaking, Shannon Eastin is a well qualified official. She’s called collegiate level games for 16 years now and participated as a side judge during the Chargers-Packers preseason game a couple days ago without much fuss. There’s no doubt she could be the one capable of breaking down this age-old barrier but it’s sure to be a bumpy road ahead of her.