Is It Time for the NFL to Hire Some Lady Refs?

August 16, 2011

Even though I'm a massive football fan and try to watch every game my eyes can find until they either fall out of my head or grow so tired that they actually go numb (you'd be surprised how often those things actually happen), it's puzzled me how I failed to notice this: there are no female referees.

Maybe I'm just used to seeing guys calling the shots on the field for so long or when I'm usually thinking of a female in a black and white uniform, it either doesn't involve pants or I've drunkenly stumbled into a Lady Foot Locker. Either way, the fact has seemed to escape my consciousness for some time.

Thankfully, Dan Solomon, an Austin-based columnist for Culturemap, did notice the lack of ladies on the field wearing black and white stripes and a wireless microphone that allows them to broadcast their voice over an entire stadium of rabid, easily angered hometown fans. He not only acknowledges that the National Football League is considering hiring some females to officiate games, but he characterizes the move as long overdue.

"If we leave it at hocking some pink jerseys and letting Pam Oliver and Suzy Kolber briefly interview players on the sidelines," said Solomon, "then we’re cutting a full half of the population out of one of the things that defines us as Americans. And it’s not even for any good reason."

Photo: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images Sport