Blog Entry

Carl Johnson: NFL to have female referees 'soon'

Posted on: August 13, 2011 1:08 pm
Posted by Will Brinson

The NBA has crossed the gender equality line of having a female official, but as of yet, the NFL has not. However, that will likely change in the future, according to Carl Johnson, the NFL's VP of Officiating.

Johnson spoke with Jane McManus of (in the context of an excellent profile piece female umpires/referees) and told her that there are some lady officials "in the pipeline."

"We have some in our pipeline, and I expect we'll see it soon," Johnson said.

Johnson noted, per McManus, that there are "women who are currently under consideration" and is anticipating a hire in the near future. But Johnson also pointed out that it's not about just placing the first capable female official on the field.

"Our goal is to get the best people working this game," Johnson said.

So, at some point in the near future, a female will be involved in the officiating of an NFL game. Don't think that because we live in a (somewhat) modernized and progressive society that this will go over smoothly or quietly.

Because it won't. There will be sexist comments on blog posts when it's announced, the scrutiny surrounding the game involving the female will be intense, and "old-fashioned fans" will be eagerly anticipating a mistake.

That's OK. You best believe the NFL and Johnson and everyone else anticipates that. Which is why whenever a female official is given her first assignment on the NFL field, it'll likely be in a situation that at least mitigates as much controversy as possible.

And it probably won't matter because, as Johnson noted, it will be a qualified individual donning the stripes. And once that gender line is crossed, it will start disintegrating some and the fact that a female official is making calls in a football game will become much less of a big deal and much more of a normal process.

That's good for society and it's good for the NFL. Especially if it can help push Jeff Triplette out of active duty.

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Since: Sep 12, 2006
Posted on: August 13, 2011 5:51 pm

Carl Johnson: NFL to have female referees 'soon'

In addition to female referees I want to see more female owners and coaches in sports. After all, 50% of the viewing audience is made up of women.

Really?? 50%?? My wife could care less about football so it is a 100% male audience in our home. And my fantasy league has no women in it even though our wives have been invited to join. While alot of women do watch football, I don't think it comes anywhere near 50%. If we were talking baseball I would say you could be close, but not football.

Since: Apr 29, 2007
Posted on: August 13, 2011 5:48 pm

Carl Johnson: NFL to have female referees 'soon'

50% of the viewers in my house are female.  It's just me and my wife watching the games and she is a pretty serious fan.  I don't think that the overall "Fan Population" is 50% female though.  

I do agree that whoever is in whatever position should be fully qualified for the job regardless of sex, race, etc.

Since: Aug 4, 2009
Posted on: August 13, 2011 5:47 pm

Carl Johnson: NFL to have female referees 'soon'

aaahh... you know what i mean.

Since: Aug 4, 2009
Posted on: August 13, 2011 5:43 pm

Carl Johnson: NFL to have female referees 'soon'

 Women are more graceful that is a close minded opinion 
 and quicker than men. 
huhh?  who, when, where?  ever?
 We all know they have a better eye
i know men can get color blindness, is that what you mean?  it seems that most celebrity stylists and fashion designers are men.  some may dispute that, but they have the anatomy.
 and are more diplomatic  hahaha.  that is a total falsehood.  women let their emotions dictate every aspect of their life.

stating fact as opinion, and always being right (even when dead wrong;) thats what we have to look forward to.

what is the average height of pro refs?  i'm guessing that women average around 5'_7" or shorter.  will they be able to see over a set o line?  

and what does safety have to being "tough?"   if women are so much tougher, then why is zero women competing against men in contact sports.  lets see a woman box a man.  lets have a woman return a kick off in the nfl.  tough or not, if you have smaller bones, a more fragile skull, and a skinnier neck then you can get killed much easier.

Since: Aug 10, 2008
Posted on: August 13, 2011 5:24 pm

Carl Johnson: NFL to have female referees 'soon'

Love the way this article is framed - if you disagree you must be a backwards, sexist a-hole.  Well done!

Fortunately that doesn't change anything and we all know women and sports don't mix.  Not after 20 years of the sexist and discriminatory Title IX law that denies opportunities to men and wastes billions of taxpayer dollars.  Not after decades of co-ed little league soccer.  Not after decades of media and public school indoctrination.  I for one barely watch ESPN since they merged with lifetimie and I believe the ratings show I am not alone. 

Since: Jan 15, 2008
Posted on: August 13, 2011 5:19 pm

Carl Johnson: NFL to have female referees 'soon'

The real reason the refs get trampled is because 80 pct. of them are old and out of shape and can't move fast enough to get out of the way. Football is a young mans game and should be officiated by young men. How can an official properly spot the ball when he is constantly trailing the play by 20 tards
 The problem is the league would need to teach them how to fix their games. So they continue to send the old men on the field to get their old a$$e$ run over.
 The sport is becoming a complete joke. WWF at it's best. 

Since: Oct 10, 2006
Posted on: August 13, 2011 5:15 pm

Carl Johnson: NFL to have female referees 'soon'

More graceful? Yes, Quicker? not even close.  His concerns are real and they are grave.  Women do not have a better reaction time than men to tramatic situations, neither are they calmer than men in tough situations.  We all know they react more emotionally than men do.  It's also a proven fact that women mutitask better than men, while men have a better concentration on one paticular area than women.  Given all that, it doesn't really matter.  I do see his concern with women on the field with the largest, quickest, most agile athletes in the world.  This is not the NBA, but hey if they can pass the physical(some better than men I'm sure) they can do the job.   

Since: Apr 2, 2010
Posted on: August 13, 2011 5:15 pm

Carl Johnson: NFL to have female referees 'soon'

Like others said, I don't care who's referring as long as they can make the right calls. I don't want to hear about the "great advances in women's rights" and all that crap, just like how I didn't want to hear about how it was so great to finally have a black president. Your gender or race isn't what qualifies you or disqualifies you for the job, your ability to perform it correctly does. Or should, anyway.

Since: Aug 7, 2008
Posted on: August 13, 2011 4:13 pm

Carl Johnson: NFL to have female referees 'soon'

Taylor, while your concern for women's safety is admirable have you not forgotten that women are tough enough to carry a baby to term and then deliver it with no pain less? No man has ever done it before.

Let's address the reason why referees get trampled in the first place. They are out of position or too close to the play. Some are also out of shape so they are not able to "get out of the way" if need be. Women are more graceful and quicker than men. We all know they have a better eye and are more diplomatic. Have you ever seen a female umpire eject a player or coach for getting upset about a blown call? Neither have I.

In addition to female referees I want to see more female owners and coaches in sports. After all, 50% of the viewing audience is made up of women.

Since: Aug 10, 2011
Posted on: August 13, 2011 2:31 pm

Carl Johnson: NFL to have female referees 'soon'

I don't like any referee.  Seen too many ruin good games.  Now females!  Couple concerns, how many females can move fast enough to see a play downfield when DeSean Jackson or Chris Johnson are running at a full out sprint?  Not many male referees have a good field of vision on plays that get stretched.  I don't think many females can physically handle the job.  Next, call me sexist, but what about safety?  Anyone else concerned.  I guess I'm good with it if a female can do the job as good as a male counterpart, but I've seen guys get bulldozed by some big players for not moving out of the way in time.  Imagine a petite female meeting the likes of Michael Turner or MJD when these two guys are fighting for a first down.  We'll see.  Good luck, and I hope the females can pull it off.  If they can, more power to them.  I got no issues cursing at a female ref on TV on Sundays.  

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