The Big Ten made its return this weekend and brought a remarkable moment. Saturday's game between Minnesota and Michigan had the first all Black crew in Power 5 history.
This crew was comprised of 11 men and one woman with nine on -field referees as well as a timer, replay official and communicator. According to the Big Ten, 22% of its officials are minorities and/or women.
Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren said of the occasion, “The principles of equality and equity are very important to me personally and to the Big Ten Conference. Big Ten football has been around since 1896, but tonight marks the first time that an all-African American football officiating crew has led a game. It is a special opening weekend for Big Ten football and we are honored by all 14 of our member institutions and their student-led social justice initiatives, as well as our conference-wide ‘United As One’ campaign.”
The game was commemorated by this photo of the group:
This marks the second time in 2020 that Black officiating crews have been historic. For Super Bowl LIV, 5 of the officials were Black, the most ever for a Super Bowl.
In a time when racial inequities are at the forefront, these moments are huge.
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