- Women landed multiple touchdowns on the NFL football field because for the first time ever, a women coach and referee will be joining the upcoming 2015 NFL season, showing that football, known to be primarily male-dominated, can be a sport for women too.
- Jen Welter will be joining the Arizona Cardinals as an assistant coaching intern, the first female coach of NFL’s history.
- In April the NFL announced that Sarah Thomas, an official since 1997, was going to be added as a full-time female official to a specific squad, also a first in NFL’s History
- Criticize all you want, but these ladies made it into the NFL house after years of hard work on and off the football field
It’s exactly 35 days until the kickoff for the 2015 NFL Season, but who’s counting? It’s only common to see women with friends, spouses, and significant others sitting and cheering on their team in the stands, but now a couple of women will have the opportunity to be up close and personal with players.
On Monday evening, the Arizona Cardinals announced that they would be adding Jen Welter to their list of coaches as an assistant coaching intern, according to ESPN. She is believed to be the first female coach of NFL’s history. Arizona Head Coach Bruce Arians was asked when the first women coach will come. He responded, “The minute that they can prove they can make a play better, they’ll be hired.” Well, I guess Welter brought something to the table Arians couldn’t deny.
— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) July 29, 2015
Welter may be managing on the sidelines, but she has built a impressive resume on and off the football field. The 37-year-old played 14 seasons for the Dallas Diamonds, who is a part of the Woman’s Football Alliance, and led them to four championship seasons. She played as a running back and special teams for the Indoor Football League team the Texas Revolution–the first woman to play a non-kicking position in a men’s professional football league.
Jen isn’t the only female making strides; the NFL hired a new full-time female official for the first time in their 95-year history, according to The Washington Post. The NFL announced in April that Sarah Thomas would be a full-time referee for a specific squad. She has been an official since 1997. The announcement came while the NFL was swarming from controversy, including misdemeanor charges to domestic violence as well as the Aaron Hernandez murder trial.
As the season approaches, some fans might voice some concerns and criticism about having a woman officiating and coaching. Well, they certainly didn’t just get there for being a woman; they are veterans in a male dominated field.
“I’m going at it the same way they’re going at it. There’s a job to be done. It just so happens I’m a female,” said Thomas.
In the words of Beyonce, Who run the [NFL] world? Girls!