Sarah Thomas is currently an official for the National Football League (NFL). Thomas was the first woman to officiate a major college football game, the first to officiate a bowl game, and the first to officiate in a Big Ten stadium.
In 2013, Thomas became one of 21 finalists in contention for a permanent NFL officiating position.
Thomas worked New Orleans Saints scrimmages, and was part of the NFL officiating development program, spending three days at the Indianapolis Colts minicamp.
On April 8, 2015, the NFL officially announced that Thomas would become the first permanent female official in NFL history. Thomas made her NFL regular season debut in a game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium on September 13, 2015, as part of Pete Morelli's crew as the line judge.
On December 24, 2016, Thomas broke her wrist in a mid-game collision on the sideline of a Vikings-Packers game. After being looked at for a brief concussion protocol, Thomas returned and finished the game with the broken wrist.
In 2017, Thomas moved to the down judge position. The change in the position name from head linesman coincided with the move in to use a gender-neutral term.
Thomas is the first woman to earn an on-field assignment for a playoff game. She was named to the crew for the game between the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Chargers on January 13, 2019. She was an alternate for the 2018 Atlanta Falcons and Los Angeles Rams Wild Card game. She did appear in a Super Bowl LIII commercial in 2019 for the NFL. September 10th.