Ladies know the score
By Josh Martin, Sports Editor
Recently, there has been a change in the NFL—a rather big one, I might add. One that could possibly change how the entire sport is portrayed for many years to come.
The change’s name is Shannon Eastin, a 42-year-old female who became the very first woman official in an NFL regular season game.
A female is coming into a league that is full of males: players, coaches, officials, owners, GMs, and trainers. A “man’s sport” would be the appropriate term to use here. It has been for the past several decades. But is all of that about to change? Are women going to slowly push themselves into football? Will they maybe even play the sport alongside men?
Will they share the same showers? Will there be separate dressing rooms?
“Why is this happening?” “I liked it the way it was.”
Relax everyone. Take a deep breath and put your pizza down beside your six-pack of beer. Nothing has changed with the respect to the NFL. One woman has come in and become—as a replacement due to the labour disagreement between the regular officials and the NFL—a line judge. Someone who, according to the NFL rulebook jurisdiction, “straddles the line of scrimmage on side field opposite Linesman. Keeps time of game as backup for clock operator…” and “…is responsible for offside, encroachment, and actions pertaining to scrimmage line prior to or at snap.”
Eastin is perfectly qualified for the job. She has 16 years of officiating experience and has worked as a referee in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, which is college football’s second highest level.
A female’s perspective never hurt anyone and for the NFL’s sake, it should shake things up a bit. Just because the NFL introduced its first woman official doesn’t mean that all of a sudden women are going to be popping up everywhere in the NFL. And if they do… what’s wrong with that?
No Females League: women shouldn’t ref in the NFL
By Eric Wilkins, Staff Writer
On NFL opening weekend, Shannon Eastin made history. Eastin became the first female official to referee an NFL regular season game. Great, right? Another move in the right direction for women’s rights. Equality and all that jazz come to mind. However, at the risk of sounding like a sexist pig, which I can assure you I am not, I feel that Eastin’s appointment is a mistake.
Before I continue, I must reiterate that I am not, in any way, against women’s rights/equality. I have no issue with having a female as my boss (as is so, here at The Other Press), nor do I believe that women are lesser than males in any way, shape, or form. Men and women should have equal opportunities in life.
But how can I say that, and then turn around and suggest that the NFL shouldn’t have female officials? The issue is clearly a matter over a person’s sex. Therefore, I have to be sexist, right? Wrong.
The NFL is a men’s football league. Never in the history of the league has there ever been a female player, and there never will be. That’s just the way it is. And for that reason, the officials refereeing the game should always be men as well simply to better relate to and understand the players and the game. Women and men think differently. I don’t think that has ever been in doubt. That being in mind, should an official who thinks differently from everyone else on the field really be there? It’s not as simple as “the rules are the rules.” There’s a feel. Slight nuances to the game that need to be picked up on. For example, Eastin broke up a fake (fun) fight in the game she was in. While breaking up a play fight isn’t the worst thing in the world, it does demonstrate how she wasn’t quite in sync with the players. That’s just what guys do sometimes, and she failed to comprehend it.
So males shouldn’t referee female sporting events then, right? Exactly. I would like nothing better than to see the day when females are refereed exclusively by their own sex. As a soccer referee growing up, I always found it difficult refereeing girls. It’s a completely different game. Contrary to what one may believe, girls tend to play a far more physical game than the men. It can be brutal out there. I often was whistling for horrendous fouls and getting quizzical looks from the players. If I had been fouled that way in one of my own games, I wouldn’t have been surprised to see a card, but in a girl’s world, it seemed this was hardly worthy of a call. I wasn’t on the same page as the players. I didn’t understand how their game worked.
I’m all for females getting equal opportunity in the world, but when it comes to sports, the sexes should keep to their own sides.