Chaka worked as a health and physical education teacher in Virginia Beach.
It was just announced that Maia Chaka has been added to the list of officials for the 2021 season. She is the second woman to reserve such a spot and the first woman of color. In a statement, Troy Vincent Sr., the executive vice president of football operations said, "Maia's years of hard work, dedication, and perseverance ... have earned her a position as an NFL official," he went on to describe Maia as a "trailblazer" and hopes her place in the NFL will work towards "normalizing women on the football field."
Chaka began refereeing high school games in Hampton Roads before she moved on to officiate in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference and Conference USA. Based on her performance at the college level, Maia was chosen to be a part of the NFL's Officiating Development Program in 2014. There she was able to garner professional experience "hands-on and get access to the teaching that NFL officials have," she told the Virginian Pilot at the time.
She continued to work as a health and physical education teacher at the Rennaisance Academy in Virginia Beach while juggling work as one of the first female officials to work a Football Bowl Subdivision game. Most recently, Chaka was on the Superbowl crew last month.
Are you excited to see more women on the professional football field? Have any congratulating words for Maia? Leave them in the comments.