The NFL will have an all-Black officiating crew for the first time ever during next Monday night's game between the Buccaneers and Rams.
"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," NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent said in a statement, per ESPN.
The seven-man unit will be led by Jerome Boger, who refereed Super Bowl XLVII and is in his 17th year as a league official. Monday night's 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.
ESPN points out that Boger is one of four Black referee/crew chiefs in the NFL along with Ron Torbert, Adrian Hill and Shawn Smith.
The NFL usually assembles its 17 officiating crews before the season and keeps them together for every game. This year the league divided the groups up by geography due to the COVID-19 pandemic and allows them to drive to games rather than fly if they prefer.
According to USA Today, Monday night's crew was purposely assembled by bringing together officials from different units after the NFL recently reached its 100-year anniversary.