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‘They notice the difference’: Mother-of-three who is first female official at Super Bowl claims ‘gender barrier’ has been ‘broken’

Long-serving Thomas will make history by helping to keep charge of Super Bowl LV between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, when she will oversee the likes of NFL superstars Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes as they pursue glory.

The Mississippi mother-of-three was initially hired after a 45-minute conversation with Gerald Austin, the head of officiating for Conference USA who first assigned Thomas to a college football game in 2007.

The marketing professional has joked that she had not been keen on tucking her hair under a hat and going without makeup, and went on to demonstrate her toughness when she saw out an NFL game with a broken wrist in 2016.

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Austin told the Post that Thomas was “emotional” when he told her that she would be part of the Super Bowl, praising what he calls her “Common Football Sense”.

“I’ve seen other officials challenge her once or twice and she is very competitive,” he added.

“She is one of the guys, and I think that’s an appropriate way to describe her.”

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