This year, women are making history in sports and I could not be happier.
In the last month alone: a woman became the first female MLB general manager for the Miami Marlins; a woman became the first female to coach an NFL position group in a regular-season game with the Cleveland Browns; and a woman became the first female to play in a major conference NCAA football game for Vanderbilt University as the team’s kicker.
It’s been nothing less than amazing.
Sarah Fuller, one of these talented women that made history, participated in a Power 5 conference football game where she kicked off to start the second half of an SEC game, when her Vanderbilt Commodores took on the Tigers from the University of Missouri.
Fuller is now a multi-sport athlete since joining the Commodores’ football team, as she is also a senior on the Vanderbilt soccer team. The goalkeeper was recently asked to join the football team after she helped the Commodores win the Southeastern Conference tournament in soccer last weekend, and dressed for Saturday’s game against the Tigers where she would soon make history.
Fuller’s kick-off to start the second half of Saturday’s SEC conference football game would make SEC history. This was a landmark event for women everywhere, but more specifically, women athletes.
Seeing Fuller play football on a SEC field as a female athlete made me hopeful. This made me hopeful for women around the world because it opens the door for more women to play football moving forward.
I am thankful that, finally in the year 2020, female athletes are getting more recognition and respect for their athletic abilities. I have hope that there will finally be a major paradigm shift in the athletic world in the way we view female athletes.
I bet you didn’t know that there is an entire Women’s Worlds Football tournament. I was a member of the Canadian National Team that won a silver medal at that tournament in 2017, which was hosted right here in Canada in beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia.
There was little-to-no coverage of the female World Championship and I’m assuming that most people did not know that it even existed. This is where women in sport still fall behind because we simply do not get the exposure that we deserve. However, I am hopeful that with these amazing women breaking barriers, we will continue to push forward in the pursuit of our collective athletic goals.
I have seen many female athletes struggle to make a career out of sports simply because of their gender. Athletics in general is an incredibly difficult career to achieve, but women athletes are paid less and are given less attention, which makes the already incredibly difficult venture even harder.
Watching Fuller out on the field made me feel like we were stepping into the future of woman in sports, and let me tell you: it’s about damn time.
Fuller wore, ‘Play Like A Girl’ on the back of her helmet. In the past this has had a negative connotation. ‘Run like a girl.’ ‘Throw like a girl.’ ‘Hit like a girl.’
As we move forward to 2021, I’m inspired for the future of young female athletes to run, throw and hit their way into history.