The NFL has torn down one of its barriers for the upcoming season. The push to break it down has been in the works for years, and it's finally happening now. According to the Baltimore Sun's Aaron Wilson, the NFL has reportedly hired Sarah Thomas to become the first full-time official.
Thomas has already broken the barrier in the NCAA. She became the first official to work a NCAA game back in 2007.
According to CBS Sports, Thomas was in the NFL officiating pipeline for seven years. NFL VP of officiating Dean Blandino said in 2013 that "She was in our pipeline for a while," but noted that making the leap to NFL official takes time for any prospective official.
Thomas won't be the first female to official a game, though. That title belongs to Shannon Eastin, who worked as a replacement ref in 2012.
After a terrible season for the NFL in regards to players and domestic assault against women, this is a great look for the league. But it shouldn't be considered a publicity stunt because Thomas is widely regarded as a very good official.