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On November 23rd, 2020, an all-black team of NFL officials will take the field during Monday Night Football between the Los Angeles Rams and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This will be the first time in NFL history that an all-black crew will officiate a NFL football game.
Jerome Boger, who is in his 17th season will lead the gentlemen at the referee position.
“I am humbled to stand on the shoulders of the black officials who paved the way for me,” stated Boger.
The NFL has been active in trying to create social justice within the community and the league. Troy Vincent, Executive Vice President of Football Operations, has made it a priority to push equality in the NFL.
“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,” stated Vincent.
Here’s the historic officiating crew for tonight’s game:
Referee – Jerome Boger (17th season)
Umpire – Barry Anderson (14th season)
Down Judge – Julian Mapp 12th season)
Line Judge – Carl Johnson (17th season)
Side Judge – Dale Shaw (8th season)
Field Judge – Anthony Jeffries (3rd season)
Back Judge – Greg Steed (18th season)
Burl Toler was the first black person to officiate a NFL game in 1965. In today’s game, only 36 of the 122 officials are black.
“Toler created change and hope for future African American officials in the NFL,” stated Mapp, the down judge for Monday night’s game.
Monday Night’s contest will have implications on the NFC playoff chase due to the the Rams (6-3) trying to tie the Seattle Seahawks for the division lead in the NFC West and the Buccaneers (7-3) are trying to stay a game behind the NFC South division leaders, New Orleans Saints.
With such an important game to the NFC playoff standings, the all-black officiating crew will have a the attention of what should be a large audience due to it being a national televised game.