Rochester native Maia Chaka becomes first black woman to officiate NFL game

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Rochester native, and National Football League line judge Maia Chaka made history Sunday, becoming the first Black woman to officiate an NFL game.

Chaka, who was first hired earlier this year, is a 2000 graduate of Edison Tech and played basketball at the school.

Chaka was part of the crew when the Carolina Panthers hosted the New York Jets in Charlotte, North Carolina.

"It’s a privilege that I’ve been chosen to represent women and women of color in the most popular sport in America." Chaka said on an official NFL Instagram post before the game. She is just the third on-field female NFL official, joining Sarah Thomas and Shannon Eastin.

Chaka previously worked in college football in the Pac-12 and Conference USA. She was selected in 2014 for the NFL’s Officiating Development Program, which identifies college officiating talent with the goal of showing them some of the same experiences as NFL officials before determining if they have the ability to succeed as an NFL official.