The eye-opening and inspiring memoir of Shannon Eastin, the first female official for the NFL
Shannon Eastin was used to breaking new ground. As a teenager, she was a six-time national judo champion before women were allowed to compete in her sport in the Olympics. Years later, she became the first female Division I football referee. But when she set her sights on officiating in the NFL, nothing could fully prepare her for the obstacles that would be thrown in her way.
In Lady Ref: Making Calls in a Man’s World, Eastin candidly shares the struggles she faced throughout her journey to the pros. Dealing with sexual harassment, apparent sabotage, and blatant misogyny, there were times Eastin wondered if it was worth it, if perhaps it would be better to quit. But a return to her faith would ultimately help her hold onto her dreams, and when the full-time NFL officials were locked out, Eastin found her opening into the pros.
Eastin’s cap and whistle now rest in the NFL Hall of Fame, a testament to the hard work, dedication, and sacrifice that went into her groundbreaking rise up the officiating ranks. Her eye-opening story reflects the relentless battles women have fought—and continue to fight—working in fields often perceived as a man’s domain, while also celebrating those who have supported these trailblazers in their journeys.