Black women are not taking our feet off the neck of history any time soon. After training with the NFL since 2014, Maia Chaka was named the leagues' first Black female official. With her appointment, she becomes only the second woman of any race to hold the title. Having previously worked pre-season games, Chaka will join the crew for regular-season action when the NFL returns this fall. She sat down with The TODAY Show to talk about the historic moment.
"It didn't really hit me until just now," Chaka said. "When I saw the introduction, I'm like, 'This is really real,' because this is just something that we're just always taught to work hard for. Sometimes we just don't take time to stop and smell our own roses."
In her seven-year journey to make it to this point, Maia has learned some valuable lessons about officiating at the highest level.
"You need to have a lot of patience," she said about what makes a good official. "And then after having patience, you have to be able to listen, and then you need to have the confidence on the field to make the call. You also need to make sure that you are very decisive in that whatever decision you make, you stand by it. You're going to make mistakes. It's not necessarily how many mistakes that you make. It's how you recover from all those mistakes that you make."
Maia will officiate her first game in September. Let's send her so much love!