First-ever all-black officiating crew to work upcoming MNF game
The National Football League assembled the first-ever, all-black officiating crew in league history to work this Monday’s game between the Los Angeles Rams and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, which will be broadcast on ESPN’s Monday Night Football. The NFL believes in using this opportunity to continue promoting diversity across multiple fronts in the league.
“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,” NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent said.
Seasoned NFL referee Jerome Boger will serve as the head official for the game, and he will have four of Boger’s African-American 2020 crew members with him, which will include umpire Barry Anderson, down judge Julian Mapp, line judge Carl Johnson, side judge Dale Shaw, field judge Anthony Jeffries, and back judge Greg Steed.
“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.”Typically, the NFL constructs the same officiating crews before the beginning of a season to do business together throughout the entire year to promote continuity. However, the league made an exception for the historic opportunity. Burt Tolar was hired by the NFL in 1965 as the first Black official in any major sports league. For more sports coverage, click here.