On Monday, November 23 the Los Angeles Rams and Tampa Bay Buccaneers will play in Florida. However, that isn't the only exciting thing happening during the game. For the first time in the NFL’s history, an all-Black officiating crew will take the field.
NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations Troy Vincent said in a statement to ESPN, “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.”
The NFL is celebrating its centennial anniversary. This gesture is a long overdue act of tribute to the many Black men and women who have worked with the league for the one hundred years of its existence.
Former Morehouse College quarterback Jerome Boger, who is now a referee, will lead the crew. He will also be joined by umpire Barry Anderson, down judge Julian Mapp, side judge Dale Shaw, and field judge Anthony Jeffries, according to USA Today.
According to Yahoo, the Buccaneers are the first team to have three Black coordinators: Todd Bowles (defense), Byron Leftwich (offense), and Keith Armstrong (special teams).
The NFL has been under criticism for years for the failures in handling racism in the league, specifically the treatment of Colin Kapernick. After the uprisings across the country in June, the NFL officially apologized for silencing peaceful protest during the national anthem prior to games over the past few years, admitting "we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest."
(Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)