Parenting · December 17, 2021 0

Women in NFL: The Ladies Who Are Changing Football

Football is a complex sport that involves many things outside of what we are used to seeing on TV. Over the years the NFL advanced in many ways such as being safer, available to a wider audience, and establishing better gender equality.

The NFL enacted a series of initiatives and hires where the main goal was building a stronger foundation by establishing rules about hierarchy for women. They also expanded the Rooney Rule to include women, where now a league office must interview a woman for an open position.

Nowadays, women are much more influential when it comes to the NFL, as they are included from the front office to the field. They’ve made a significant effort towards defining the direction where the most popular sport in America will continue to move forward.

It is safe to say that not all battles in football are won on the field, and behind the brutal action there are plenty of women that contribute a lot to the sport.

Amy Trask

Amy Trask was the first female chief executive officer of an NFL team, and she quickly became a well-known name in NFL circles. She started swimming in football waters while she was still in college after she started as an intern with the Oakland Raiders in 1997. A few years down the line she was hired by the team’s legal department and her hard work and passion for the sport made her the first female chief executive officer of an NFL team.

Currently, she is a football analyst for CBS Sports, but throughout her career, she contributed a lot to the sport, especially for women who saw her example and started changing their view of the sport. 

Martha Firestone Ford

Martha Firestone Ford is one of the eldest owners of an NFL team at 96 years old. Ever since her husband passed away in 2014, she took over the leadership of the Detroit Lions. It seems like football grew on her since she is now more focused on the sport rather than their gigantic automotive business, left by her grandad, the industrial icon, Harvey Firestone.

She is the board of directors of the Detroit Lions as well as her three daughters and one son. She has contributed a lot to the sport despite the Detroit Lions being on a downhill run in terms of league success.

Kathryn Smith

Here we have another woman that made history in the NFL. She was the first female that was given a full-time coaching position with the Buffalo Bills. She started showing interest in the sport after joining the Jets as an intern. Since then, she moved to the Buffalo Bills, where the team hired her as a quality control special teams coach where she quickly moved to assistant coach.

She has quite a resume in the NFL and possibly a bright future ahead of her.

Sarah Thomas

Over the years, the NFL started changing its principles and practices towards women, and Sarah Thomas is the proof. She became the first female official in NFL history, which is kind of a big deal for the sport.

This incredible ref started her career officiating grade school games, before launching her career in Conference USA, and then on to the big league. 

After being in the league’s development program for two years where she officiated preseason games, she was given a full-time job in 2015 as an official in the NFL.

Katie Blackburn

Here we have another influential woman in the NFL as the executive vice president of the Cincinnati Bengals. She has been a part of the Bengals’ front office for two decades now, and her connection with the NFL is explainable since she is the daughter of the team owner Mike Brown.

Katie Blackburn also made history in the NFL by becoming the first woman to be a chief contract negotiator

However, it seems like this is not enough to satisfy Blackburn’s passion for the sport since apart from her team duties, she has a significant role in league affairs. 

She is the chairwoman of the eight-person workplace diversity committee as well as the Super Bowl advisory committee (you can find TwinSpires guide to betting the Super Bowl game here).

She has contributed a lot to the sport and let’s hope she continues with the same pace in the future.