'Grass' Ceiling: Female Referee Makes NFL History

Shannon Eastin crossed a picket line and, after NFL vetting, was accepted as a referee.
3:00 | 08/10/12

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Transcript for 'Grass' Ceiling: Female Referee Makes NFL History
week," including tim pawlenty, who is on the short list. Shannon eastin, becoming the first woman to referee an nfl game. And abc's linsey davis is here with more. Reporter: Good morning, amy. Some say shannon eastin was all sighs last night. That she got her stripes not because she earned it, but she crossed a picket line. But no matter how you look at it, she made history. With hair tucked under her black cap, shannon eastin made history. Taking her position as the line judge in the game last night in san diego. Eastin became the first female to referee a football game. Way to go, shannon. It must be the 21st century. To this could happen in the national football league is a big breakthrough. Reporter: Eastin has been reffing college and high school games for 17 years. But critics argue she doesn't have enough big-game experience. Saying she's being used as a pawn in a labor dispute between the league and the referees union. The league shut out its regular REFS ON JUNE 3rd, UNTIL THE TWO Sides can agree on a contract. Other referees refuse to cross the picket line. But eastin agreed to fill in. Even though it may mean she will not be allowed to referee again. My guess is, she said I'm going to cross the picket line. I'm going to go and do something that could break the union. But this is my chance. I got my picture taken with her before the game because it's -- you know, it's history. Reporter: Things were much different for women when violet palmer became the first female ref in the national basketball association back in 1997. Palmer endured criticism and sexist taunts. One former player said she should go back to the kitchen. As for eastin, she says the lockout is an opportunity to train and hire other referees. Something eastin and her fellow female officials would no doubt call a win. And eastin was told that her hat and whistle would be taken to the pro football hall of fame in canton to commemorate the occasion. Her goal was not to be recognized. Not so much. That didn't work out. But so much pressure for her. She handled it great, though. Thanks so much. Let's get a check of the weather from sam champion. Sam? Good morning, everyone.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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