Breaking overnight news: National Football League replacement official Shannon Eastin has come under scrutiny for having played in the 2007 World Series of Poker, NBC Sports revealed late Wednesday.
Eastin is slated to become the first female to officiate NFL games, but with the league currently suing the state of New Jersey over a proposal to allow sports betting, her high stakes poker past may come back to bite her in the you-know-where.
Eastin was knocked out of Event 15 in 17th place by none other than record bracelet holder Phil Hellmuth. She cashed with $24,393.
Mike Florio broke the news shortly before 10 pm EDT and feels there will most likely be some ramifications here.
Some may regard the coming assault from the locked-out officials as an attack on Eastin’s gender. It’s a far deeper problem than that, in our view. The league has strong views on gambling, and the last persons associated with pro football who should have any connection to gambling are the game officials.
We’re not saying that Shannon Eastin will be the next Tim Donaghy. We’re saying that, if the standards for screening replacement officials are sufficiently lax to let a former contestant in the World Series of Poker get through the filter, perhaps one of the other 119 replacement officials will be the next Tim Donaghy.