The NFL joined the commemoration of International Women’s Day on Wednesday with messages from its protagonists who highlighted the courage of women who have broken barriers to having greater participation in the league.
“Today and every day we are celebrating women who break barriers, advance football and inspire the world,” was the message transmitted by the NFL through its social networks.
Since 2017, the National Football League has promoted greater participation with the annual Women’s Forum driven by the ideas of Sam Rapoport, former football player and current director of diversity, equity and inclusion of the league that directs the forum.
In seven years of this event, 26 teams have hired participants from the Women’s Forum and more than 225 job opportunities for women have emerged in the league.
Last summer, the NFL had 15 women in coaching roles during training camp, a record for any men’s professional sports league in the world.
“Our workforce needs to be reflected in our fan base, really, when that happens, I think that’s when we’ll have done our job,” said Sam Rapoport regarding the importance of more and more women participating in one way or another in the league.
“The NFL is not dominated by men, it is prevalent by men, a pattern that is changing,” said Lori Locust, head of defense control for the Tennessee Titans.
At this year’s Women’s Forum, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said there is still a long way to go when it comes to women’s participation.
“We have not yet reached the height we expect and we know that there is much to come. Women are the future in football,” the commissioner said.
New York Giants coach Brian Daboll, who has Laura Young as director of training operations, and Angela Baker, as an offensive assistant among his coaching staff, underscored the talent they bring to their team.
“I didn’t hire the women who work with us because I have daughters, I didn’t hire them because I have strong women in my life. I hired them because they’re good and there’s still a great pool of untapped talent,” Daboll said.
Teams such as the San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys, Indianapolis Colts, and Pittsburgh Steelers, among others, shared messages on their social networks to commemorate International Women’s Day.