PHOTO: Line judge Shannon Eastin, left, takes the field prior to an NFL preseason football game between the San Diego Chargers and the Green Bay Packers, Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012, in San Diego. Eastin is a replacement line judge who will make her NFL debut in the exhibition game. The regular officials are locked out by the league after their contract expired. Photo: Denis Poroy / AP
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Shannon Eastin has become the first woman to officiate an NFL game.
Eastin broke the NFL’s on-field gender barrier Thursday night, serving as the line judge for a seven-man crew working a preseason game between the Green Bay Packers and San Diego Chargers.
The 42-year-old from Tempe, Ariz., was dwarfed by the players as she lined up in front of San Diego’s sideline and had a camera following nearly every move just before kickoff. She seemed at ease in the spotlight and had at least two players shake her hand.
She is among a group of replacement officials working NFL games while the regular refs are locked out.
Eastin is a referee in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, college football’s second-highest level, and a 16-year veteran of officiating.
The cap she is wearing will be sent to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Courtesy: JOHN MARSHALL | AP Sports Writer
NFL official Shannon Eastin works during the Seahawks’ NFL football training camp in Renton, Wash. The Associated Press examines six of the top questions that will be answered in the preseason starting on Thursday, Aug. 9, including how replacement referees will perform while traditional officiating crews are locked out due to labor negotiations. Photo: Seattle Seahawks, Rod Mar / AP