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Two coaches, ref make NFL history by becoming the first three women to work a game at the same time

For the first time in NFL history, three women shared the field in an official capacity in Cleveland on Sunday.

Browns assistant coach Callie Brownson, Washington Football Team assistant coach Jennifer King, and NFL official Sarah Thomas worked Cleveland's 34-20 win after first posing for pictures on the field to mark the occasion.

'It's cool and about time that there's some gender equity in this sport,' said Washington coach Ron Rivera, who first hired King during a previous coaching stint in Carolina. 'Women love this game and a lot of them want to play this game and they play it. A lot of them want to coach it and they're coaching it.

'All we're doing is just creating opportunities for people who deserve it.'

Browns assistant coach Callie Brownson (right), Washington Football Team assistant coach Jennifer King (left), and NFL official Sarah Thomas (center) worked Cleveland's 34-20 win after first posing for pictures on the field to mark the occasion

A former college basketball coach, Jennifer King (right) first connected with Washington coach Ron Rivera when both were in North Carolina. She joined Rivera's staff as an intern in 2018 with the Panthers, and when he took the job in Washington earlier this year, King came with him as an offensive assistant and full-year coaching intern - the first black woman in league history. Sarah Thomas (left), meanwhile, became the NFL's first female referee in 2015, and has since been picked to work in the postseason.

Callie Brownson, the chief of staff for Browns first-year coach Kevin Stefanski, was an all-around player in the Women's Football Alliance before she was bitten by the coaching bug. She started at the high school level, wound up at Dartmouth and was hired by Buffalo Bills coach Sean McDermott, who gave her a full season internship in 2019

Before the game, Rivera tweeted: 'As I am doing my final pregame prep a sense of pride has come to me. I can't help but think of the historic significance of today. Very happy for all the women involved in our @NFL game & very proud of @JenniferKing5.'

King is in her first season on Washington's staff.

A former college basketball coach, King first connected with Rivera when both were in North Carolina. She joined Rivera's staff as an intern in 2018 with the Panthers, and when he took the job in Washington earlier this year, King came with him as an offensive assistant and full-year coaching intern - the first black woman in league history.

Brownson, the chief of staff for Browns first-year coach Kevin Stefanski, was an all-around player in the Women's Football Alliance before she was bitten by the coaching bug. She started at the high school level, wound up at Dartmouth and was hired by Buffalo Bills coach Sean McDermott, who gave her a full season internship in 2019.

Stefanski promised he would have a diverse staff at his introductory news conference in January, and he hired Brownson just a few weeks later for the same position he held in 2006 for the Minnesota Vikings. 

Washington head coach Ron Rivera was aware of the historic significance of Sunday's game

As pointed out by Katie Knida, the first woman to score in an NCAA Division I-A football game, Brownson, King and Thomas were all business after the pre-game pleasantries 

'Callie is uniquely situated where she can go interact with football ops or PR or the locker room or the equipment room,' he said a few months back. 'She's really the liaison to the rest of the building for me. I'm going to lean on her heavily and already have.'

Thomas, meanwhile, became the NFL's first female referee in 2015, and has since been picked to work in the postseason. 

Katie Hnida, who, as a kicker at the University of New Mexico in 2003, became the first woman to score in an NCAA Division I-A game, was ecstatic about the historic game

Reaction to the moment was overwhelmingly positive.

'I love this' tweeted Katie Hnida, who, as a kicker at the University of New Mexico in 2003, became the first woman to score in an NCAA Division I-A game. 

'They all smile politely for the cameras and then go sprinting off in different directions because they got a damn game to focus on today. This isn't for show, these women are out here doing their jobs.'

Maddie Heaps, a media relations coordinator at San Diego State, had fun with the moment on Twitter.

'Unfortunately, I will be unable to make any man a sandwich today,' she wrote. 'I'll be busy watching women coaching on both sidelines of an NFL game. With a female official as well.'

Fox Sports sideline reporter Laura Okmin couldn't hide her excitement on Twitter, posting several pics of the three.

'If you couldn't tell, I'm over the moon to be covering this historic Washington Vs Cleveland NFL game,' Okmin wrote. 'Representation EVERYWHERE. 2 coaches & an official who are outstanding at what they do & happen to be women. Here's to all the girls whose dreams will change today.'

Maddie Heaps, a media relations coordinator at San Diego State, had fun with the moment

Fox Sports sideline reporter Laura Okmin (left) couldn't hide her excitement on Twitter

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