Norfolk State University alum Maia Chaka and the NFL posted a video regarding officiating her first NFL regular-season game. Chaka is the first black female to join the ranks of NFL officials in the league's history. She spent several seasons as a member of the developmental officiating program before her promotion in March.
Chaka was glowing when speaking about the importance of taking the field as an official this opening weekend.
"When I step on the field for the first time as an NFL official. It's going to be a proud moment. It's a proud moment for myself. It's a proud moment for my family; it's a proud moment for my community, students, and co-workers."
She won't be alone in her jubilation in the upcoming moment. I interviewed former Grambling State alum and NFL quarterback Doug Williams a few weeks ago concerning Chaka's ascension in the ranks of NFL officials. The Super Bowl MVP said he's "elated" for her accomplishment. He repeated a couple of times that she had to be the "one" because of her preparation, commitment, and intelligence.
“This historic moment to me is an honor and it’s a privilege that I’ve been chosen to represent women and women of color in the most popular sport in America," Chaka eloquently stated.
She continued, "Proving that I can defy the odds and overcome and in pretty much master the craft of a sport that I didn't really play, but I have a love and a passion for. Hopefully, that just gives somebody else. You know some inspiration and empowers them to step outside the box and do something different. I'm just in awe. And, I just can't wait for that moment, you know, that opening kickoff. I can't wait to see how that really feels."
Chaka will wear number 100 and officiate the 2021 NFL season as a line judge. She is the only rookie official to patrol the field after six officials retired at the end of the 2020-21 season.