All-Black NFL referee crew will work Rams-Buccaneers game

“For the first time in the NFL’s 100-year history, a game will be officiated by an all Black crew,” Troy Vincent, the NFL’s executive vi...



“For the first time in the NFL’s 100-year history, a game will be officiated by an all Black crew,” Troy Vincent, the NFL’s executive vice president of football operations, said in a statement. “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.”

In addition to Boger, the crew 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. Some are members of Boger’s usual crew, and others were drawn from other crews.

The formation of the crew was first reported by USA Today. Although the NFL did not specify the reason for the timing of the move, the game is being played in prime time and features a Buccaneers team that has three Black coordinators and two female assistant coaches.

It also comes after team owners last week approved a resolution by the workplace diversity committee to improve hiring practices. Under the new plan, a team that develops a minority candidate who is hired by another team as a head coach or general manager would receive third-round compensatory picks in the following two drafts. In February, NFL leaders faced fallout over a hiring cycle for coaches in which only one minority head coach was hired. That was Ron Rivera by the Washington Football Team.

In last season’s Super Bowl LIV, five of the seven crew members were Black, marking the largest number of minority officials on the championship game’s officiating crew. At the time, the Undefeated reported that 36 of the league’s 122 officials were Black, with four being crew chiefs or referees.

“Super Bowl officials are selected among their peers for excelling at every one of the stringent criteria as met on every play in every game throughout the season,” Vincent said in a statement to The Washington Post in February. “The diversity of this Super Bowl officiating team is a testimony to those who far exceed the on-field leadership and excellence commensurate with the performance demands of the most significant game of the year for coaches, players and fans.”

Johnson, Anderson and Steed also were on that Super Bowl crew, along with field judge Michael Banks and side judge Boris Cheek.

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Newsrust: All-Black NFL referee crew will work Rams-Buccaneers game
All-Black NFL referee crew will work Rams-Buccaneers game
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