NFL’s First Female Referee, Shannon Eastin, 'Falls For Fake Fight' In First Regular Season Game

  @mariamzzarellam.vultaggio@ibtimes.com on September 10 2012 10:31 PM

Shannon Eastin has become the NFL's first female referee to be in the starting lineup for regular-season games, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Eastin's first time serving as an official in a regular-season NFL game was on Sunday when the Rams play the Lions in Detroit. 

This historic moment came with an unfortunate catch -- regular officials have been replaced with substitute refs due to a labor disagreement with the NFL. The 42-year-old Eastin has now joined the other refs as a replacement until an agreement is met with the usual officials.

Eastin has 16 years of experience and recently participated in the "Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, worked NFL exhibition games this summer, making her debut during the Packers-Chargers preseason game," the paper said.

Even though the NFL and MEAC representatives didn't want to comment on her abilities, others have backed up the decision to make Eastin a replacement official.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was proud to speak on Eastin's behalf when it was announced she was a potential temporary referee.

"She's well-prepared for it, and I think she'll do terrific," Goodell said to the LA Times. "So we're excited about that. And there are more coming, by the way. We've been working along this path to try to properly train and prepare a female official, and now we have the opportunity."

Eastin reportedly has a background in judo and owns a school that trains football officials.

The first female official in the NFL expects she will be especially scrutinized because she is a woman.

"Knowing that I'm a female in a man's world, I have always put the most pressure on myself," she said in the beginning of the summer, according to the LA Times. "I understand that pretty much everything I do is going to be magnified."

"I know what I signed up for," she said.

During her first regular season game Eastin reportedly "fell" for a fight between St. Louis Rams defensive back Cortland Finnegan and Detroit Lions linebacker Stephen Tulloch. 

"The two players who had been teammates with the Tennessee Titans were joking around," an Associated Press photographer wrote as a caption for one of his pictures. 

Eastin was right when she knew everything she did would be "magnified." After the faux-altercation people began talking about the "fight the female ref fell for."

In defense of Eastin, Finnegan has a reputation for fighting with other players.

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