Image Credit: ESPN

People of Color Make NFL History on Opening Weekend


Opening weekend in the NFL is always a big occasion.

Fans have waited all year to cheer their team on, fantasy football leagues begin their season of victory and frustration, and the excitement of the biggest season of the year returns.

This year, the NFL kicked off the 2021 season by making history.

The first history-making events took place in North Carolina where the NY Jets took on the Carolina Panthers.

There, Maia Chaka and Robert Saleh both etched their names in the NFL record books.

Over his four years in San Francisco, Saleh built the 49ers defensive into one of the best units in the league.

In January, the Jets hired the former defensive coordinator as their new head coach, making Saleh the first Muslim American head coach in NFL history. On Sunday, his place was cemented in history when the team’s first regular-season game was played.

On the sidelines in that same game, Maia Chaka ran up and down as a game official and made history in the process.

In March, the NFL kicked off Women’s History Month by announcing they hired Chaka as a game official for the 2021 season. That made her the first Black woman on the league’s on-field officiating staff.

Continue reading over at First and Pen.

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