*The next Monday Night Football game will go down in history as the first ever to be refereed by an all-Black officiating crew.
Former Morehouse College quarterback Jerome Boger, who refereed Super Bowl XLVII and is in his 17th year as a league official, will lead the seven-man unit in Tampa on Nov. 23, as the Buccaneers face the Los Angeles Rams, according to USA TODAY. Rounding out the crew are umpire Barry Anderson, down judge Julian Mapp, line judge Carl Johnson, field judge Dale Shaw, side judge Anthony Jeffries and back judge Greg Steed.
The makeup of the unit is a deliberate move by the NFL, weeks after the league marked its 100-year anniversary.
“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,” Troy Vincent, NFL executive vice president of football operations, said in a statement.
It should also be noted that the two teams involved in Monday’s game have also made significant moves in Black history. According to USA TODAY, Tampa Bay is the first team in league history with three Black coordinators in Todd Bowles (defense), Byron Leftwich (offense) and Keith Armstrong (special teams). The Rams were the first NFL team to reintegrate in 1946 after a 12-year color ban, signing running back Kenny Washington and receiver Woodie Strode, which coincided with the Cleveland Browns, then of the All-American Conference, adding fullback Marion Motley and guard Bill Willis.
Get to know some members of Monday’s historic officiating crew in the videos below:
Jerome Boger provides inspirational words to Atlanta teens
Barry Anderson Interview
NFL official Carl Johnson talks about working second Super Bowl