First Female NFL Referee Cleared Despite Participation in a WSOP Tournament

Thursday evening marked a special event for Shannon Eastin. She became the first female official for an NFL game. She took on the position of line judge for the Chargers-Packers held at Qualcomm Stadium. Not only does she have people talking because she's woman but she is attracting attention due to her participation in a World Series of Poker tournament.

Her credentials were to be questioned by The NFL Referees Association simply because she played a WSOP tournament but Eastin came out clean after a background check.

"The NFL does extensive background checks on prospective officials, including the current group of replacement officials," NFL spokesman Michael Signora said. "All of them have passed the NFL's rigorous screening process, including Shannon Eastin. Past participation in an event such as a poker tournament does not disqualify a person from consideration as an NFL game official."

Signora also said that Eastin will be prohibited from participating in a professional poker or gambling event during the season.

Mike Pereira, former NFL vice president of officiating and current rules analyst for FOX said, "Gambling is a no-no, period, when it reaches this level. This is not a friendly golf wager or a group of guys playing poker at home. If, in the normal background check process, this level of gambling was uncovered, the person would never have been hired."

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