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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Mizzou chapter.

Sarah Thomas, Amanda Gorman and Jazmine Sullivan are just a few names you should know before watching Super Bowl LV, and here’s why.

This Super Bowl is making history by having their first female referee and first poet to perform at the game. In what many usually consider a “man’s sport,” progress is taking place. The inclusion of women is another big step in sending a message to the younger generation, especially little girls, and as VP Kamala Harris said, “Because every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities.” 

Sarah Thomas will be making Super Bowl history as the first female referee to officiate in a Super Bowl game, just six years after becoming the first full-time, female official in league history. NFL Officiating’s Twitter announced the Super Bowl LV crew Jan. 19. Thomas will be the down judge, sporting number 53 in the upcoming game. In a news release, NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations, Troy Vincent Sr. said, “Sarah Thomas has made history again as the first female Super Bowl official. Her elite performance and commitment to excellence has earned her the right to officiate the Super Bowl. Congratulations to Sarah on this well-deserved honor.”

A week after Gorman’s appearance at Biden’s inauguration, multiple news sources announced she will be delivering a poem that will air before the coin toss. After becoming the youngest poet in presidential inauguration history, she will also become the first female poet to perform in the NFL. According to different news sources, Gorman wrote an original poem to honor three individuals: Trimaine Davis, Suzie Dorner and James Martin, who have served during the coronavirus pandemic. “During this incredibly challenging time in our lives, Trimaine, Suzie, and James have exemplified the essence of leadership, each in their own way,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a news release. “We are grateful for their commitment and proud to share their stories and recognize them during this special moment on Super Bowl Sunday.”

R&B artist Jazmine Sullivan, known for her 2008 hit “Bust Your Windows,” will be performing the national anthem alongside Eric Church to kick off the game. This collaboration will be one of the few duets in NFL history, with the last being in 2006. Sullivan will also become one of the 29 female performers to sing the national anthem at the Super Bowl. Fellow collaborator, H.E.R. will perform directly after singing “America the Beautiful” as another female performer this year.

With such a big step forward for the NFL, it is important to remember that this cannot be a one-time deal. Holding the NFL accountable in the future is extremely important to keep progressing year after year. 

“Dream with ambition, lead with conviction, and see yourself in a way that others might not see you, simply because they have never seen it before.” – Kamala Harris

Trinidy is a Senior at Mizzou studying Journalism and German. She loves journaling, cooking, and traveling. Trinidy has a terrible coffee and ice cream addictions, but it could be worse!
HC Contributer Mizzou