An all-Black officiating crew worked an NFL game for the first time in league history when the Los Angeles Rams faced the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday night
TAMPA, Fla. — An all-Black officiating crew worked an NFL game for the first time in league history when the Los Angeles Rams faced the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday night.
Referee Jerome Boger led the crew, which also included umpire Barry Anderson, down judge Julian Mapp, line judge Carl Johnson, side judge Dale Shaw, field judge Anthony Jeffries and back judge Greg Steed.
Five members of the crew work together regularly. Johnson and Steed joined the group for Monday night’s matchup between NFC playoff contenders.
The members of the crew have a combined 89 seasons of NFL experience and have worked six Super Bowls.
Bucs coach Bruce Arians, who’s been supportive of diversity in hiring throughout the league, applauded the decision.
“Way too long coming,” Arians said. “I know a lot of those guys. They’re great officials. … It’s a historic night, and I think it’s fantastic.
The first Black official in any major sport was Burl Toler, hired by the NFL in 1965.
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