NFL assembles all-Black officiating crew for first time
The NFL will have an all-Black officiating crew for the first time in league history when the Rams play the Buccaneers on Monday night.
“This historic Week 11 crew is a testament to the countless and immeasurable contributions of Black officials to the game, their exemplary performance, and to the power of inclusion that is the hallmark of this great game,” said Troy Vincent, NFL executive vice president of football operations.
The crew consists of: referee Jerome Boger, 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 will join the group for this game. The crew has a combined 89 seasons in the league and has worked six Super Bowls.
“I am proud of my heritage and excited about my participation in this historic game," Boger said. "The opportunity to work with a great group of Black officials and exhibit our proficiency in executing our assignment is something I am really looking forward to.”
The league has assigned crews based on geography this season to limit travel due to the coronavirus pandemic. Crew assignment guidelines have also been relaxed to assign officials to games closer to their homes when feasible.
The first Black official in any major sport was Burl Toler, hired by the NFL in 1965.
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