NBA Makes History as Two Female Referees, Natalie Sago & Jenna Schroeder Officiate in Same Game

NBA history is made as two female referees, Natalie Sago and Jenna Schroeder, were set to officiate in the same game on Monday. 

The MBA made history as two female referees, Natalie Sago and Jenna Schroeder, officiated in the same game; Charlotte Hornets at the Orlando Magic game on Monday. 

Sago and Schroeder made up 2 of the three-person crew which officiated Monday night's game. Sago was picked as the referee, Schroeder the umpire, and Sean Wright as the crew chief. 

Schroeder, Wright and Sago pictured Monday's game, Jan. 25, 2021. | Photo: Getty Images

Schroeder, Wright and Sago pictured Monday's game, Jan. 25, 2021. | Photo: Getty Images

The two women had worked together before as they have been a part of 3-woman crews for the G-league. However, this is the first time in NBA history that two women worked the same game. 

Schroeder shared her excitement and how the moment helped her feminist dreams come true. She shared that her values are aligning with her professional goals as she said

“It’s like my feminist dreams come true, that like my personal values are colliding with my professional values and it’s awesome.”

The crew had looked forward to the game over the past month when the game schedule was internally disturbed. The information on the staff is announced publically at 9 am Eastern time on game day.

So far, the MBA has used 76 officiates this season, 7 of whom are women. Sago and Schroeder make up 5 of the women who are full-time employees of the NBA

Another woman making history is Beck Hammon, as she became the first woman to coach during a regular season of the NBA.

Sago shared that all the women have close relationships and are happy and excited to work together. It is so cool that the group of women can share these historical moments. 

She is sure that there will be more games with multiple women officiate crews working in the future. She went on to say that she was proud to be a part of the organization as: 

"I’m just proud to be part of an organization that promotes people to do the job based on our abilities, not on our gender, race, ethnicity, those types of things.”

Sago and Schroeder's moment is not lost within the flurry of historic moments for women that have happened in the last year in the sporting world. 

The Super Bowl will make history as Sarah Thomas will be the first woman to work in a officiate crew when she works at the Tampa Bay-Kansa city game next month. 

Another woman making history is Beck Hammon. She became the first woman to coach during a regular season of the NBA after the San Antonio Spurs' head coach, Gregg Popovich, was ejected from the game. 

Popovich was ejected from the game after challenging a ruling by a referee. Hammon then stepped in as coach and made history doing so. She is the assistant coach of the Spurs. 

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