About Damn Time: NFL Makes History With All-Black Referee

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History was made on Monday night when a team of all black referees officiated the Monday Night Football game between Tampa Bay and the Los Angeles Rams.

Jerome Boger, a former Morehouse College quarterback led the seven-man crew as referee. Umpire Barry Anderson, down judge Julian Mapp, line judge Carl Johnson, field judge Dale Shaw, side judge Anthony Jeffries, and back judge Greg Steed rounded out the crew.

 

Steed is a graduate of Howard and a former football player for the Bison. Julian Mapp is an alum of Grambling State University. Anderson, Mapp, and Boger are also former SIAC football officials.

Greg Steed was one of seven black referees to call the Monday Night Football game.
NFL referee and Howard Bison alum Greg Steed

During and after the historic night, there was plenty of reactions on Twitter and social media.

 

 

“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.

Burl Toler was the first black official in the NFL. He worked for 25 seasons from 1965 to 1989. He served as a field judge and head linesman throughout his career. Of the 122 NFL officials this season, 36 are black referees.

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