Women made history in the National Football League (NFL) during the Washington Football Team and Cleveland Browns game on Sunday, Sept. 27.
For the very first time, an NFL game involved female coaches on both sidelines and a female referee on the field. These women include Browns’ chief of staff Callie Brownson, Washington’s full-year coaching intern Jennifer King and NFL official Sarah Thomas.
This group of women mark a step forward toward gender equality and provide hope for girls that are used to being on the sidelines and believe they deserve more opportunities in sports.
“Having girls play football would be cool because they can show that they’re tough too,” Miami Palmetto Senior High School varsity cheerleader Stephanie Viamonte said.
However, this is not the first time that two of these women made history in the world of football.
Before working with the Browns, Brownson became the first full-time Division I female college football coach. In September 2018, she served as the offensive quality coach for the Dartmouth football team. Brownson also played football in the Women’s Football Alliance (WFA) and the United States women’s national American football team.
As a college football official, Thomas became the first female to work a major college football game, officiate a bowl game and officiate a Big Ten game. As an NFL official, she became the first full-time female referee and the first female to officiate an NFL postseason game.
As for King, she has a long list of qualifications. She worked as an offensive quality coach for Dartmouth, intern wide receiver and running back coach for the Carolina Panthers, as well as the assistant wide receiver and special teams coach for the Arizona Hotshots, an Alliance of American Football team. She has also played for the WFA and was a seven-time All American quarterback and wide receiver. King became the first African-American female to serve as a coach in the NFL.
The Browns eventually went on to defeat the Washington Football Team 34-20, adding to their first winning record in six years.
These women leave girls wondering what the future may hold for them in sports.
“I hope that, in the future, women will be starters on the offensive and defensive lines, proving that football is not just built for your basic man,” Palmetto junior and football fan Emily Shermer said.