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NFL referee Maia Chaka will make history Sunday in the Week 1 game between the Carolina Panthers and the New York Jets.

Chaka will be the first black woman to officiate an NFL regular season game.

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“It is a privilege to have been chosen to represent women and women of color in America’s most popular sport,” Chaka said in a statement ahead of Sunday’s game.

The Panthers and Jets meet at 1 p.m. ET.

In March, the league announced that Chaka would be added to the roster for the 2021 season.

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“I am honored to have been selected as an NFL official,” she said in a statement at the time. “But this moment is greater than a personal accomplishment. It is an accomplishment for all women, my community and my culture.”

Chaka worked at the Pac-12 Conference and the USA Conference in college football before making the jump to the NFL, according to NFL.com. She was also a physical education and health teacher in Virginia.

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“Maia’s years of hard work, dedication and perseverance, including as part of the NFL Officials Development Program, have earned her a position as an NFL official,” said Troy Vincent, vice-president. executive chairman of NFL football operations in March. “As we celebrate Women’s History Month, Maia pioneers as the first black official woman and inspires us to normalize women on the soccer field.”


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