For the first time in NFL history, an all-Black crew will referee Monday night’s game between the Los Angeles Rams and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“This historic Week 11 crew is a testament to the countless and immeasurable contributions of Black officials to the game, their exemplary performance, and to the power of inclusion that is the hallmark of this great game,” said Troy Vincent, NFL executive vice president of football operations.
African American refs were a rarity in major professional sports overall, until the NFL hired its first Black referee, Burl Toler, in 1965.
The crew for Monday’s game will include crew leader and referee Jerome Boger, umpire Barry Anderson, down judge Julian Mapp, line judge Carl Johnson, side judge Dale Shaw, field judge Anthony Jeffries and back judge Greg Steed.
Historically Black colleges and universities (HBCU) will be well represented in this historic crew of refs. Jerome Boger attended Morehouse College; Julian Mapp attended Grambling State University; and Greg Steed attended Howard University.
“I am proud of my heritage and excited about my participation in this historic game,” Boger, the NFL’s third Black ref and former Morehouse College quarterback, said. “The opportunity to work with a great group of Black officials and exhibit our proficiency in executing our assignment is something I am really looking forward to.”