"If you look at Sarah's background and her journey to get here, this is not something that happened overnight," Blandino said when Thomas was hired in April. "She's been officiating 20 years and been on our radar screen for eight to nine years."
"I set out to do this and get involved in officiating not having any idea that there were not any females officiating football," Ms. Thomas told NFL Network in 2014. "Being a former basketball player, you saw females officiating all the time. So, no, I don't feel like a pioneer."