Berea: Female official hopes to break NFL barrier

BEREA, Ohio -- Sarah Thomas doesn't consider herself a trailblazer, just "one of the guys."

But as one of two female officials in the NFL's officiating development program, Thomas has a chance to break barriers in a male-dominated profession.

This week, Thomas worked with a crew of officials during Browns mini-camp, where she worked on her skills as she strives to make it to the pros.

Browns Pro Bowl cornerback Joe Haden joked that Thomas "was calling everything," but Cleveland coach Mike Pettine praised her, saying she was "efficient."

Thomas will work in training camps and NFL exhibitions this summer.

She says players rarely give her a second look, "they just see me in stripes out here."

A mother of three, Thomas says she tucks her long blond hair inside her cap because she doesn't want to be noticed on the field.


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