Jen Welter coaching the linebackers for Arizona Cardinals during pre-season is probably one of the coolest things you’ll hear all summer.
You’re probably not a huge sports fan. Up until twenty minutes ago, you had no idea what state the Cardinals even played for. What the hell is a linebacker? What sport is this actually?
So you’re definitely wondering why you should give a shit about a woman in sports.
You should give a shit because she’s a woman in a position of relative power in a male dominated environment, and she is going to slay.
Welter – who was awarded the position on the 27th of July – is the first female to be acknowledged as an NFL coach ever, and the first to join Becky Hammon – the assistant coach of the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs – in the ranks of women coaching men’s teams.
She has a Masters in Sports Psychology, a PhD. in Psychology, and played professional football for 14 years in a women’s league. She is literally all that and a bag of chips.
Many people believe that, because she is a woman, she won’t be able to do this job, but Cardinals Head Coach Bruce Arians is having none of that: “Coaching is nothing more than teaching. One thing I have learned from players is, ‘How are you going to make me better? If you can make me better, I don’t care if you’re the Green Hornet.’”
This is an incredible step for women’s rights and equality… And it’s not the only step forward we’ve seen this year.
Caitlyn Jenner came out as a transgender woman this past April.
Same-sex marriage was legalized across the United States this past June.
Laverne Cox was the first transgender person to be nominated for an Emmy in the 56 years they’ve been hosted.
Did you recognize any of this for how incredible it was? You probably didn’t. Because everyone’s been telling you that it isn’t going to happen. There will always be that one guy.
But as Catilyn, Jen, Laverne, and the rest of the nation have shown, that one guy doesn’t matter anymore.
So, no, you don’t like sports. You think most of them are incredibly boring and couldn’t give any less of a shit about the NFL if you tried.
But Welter’s achievements, no matter how small the cranky internet trolls try to make them, are something to be celebrated by the privileged and the disenfranchised alike.
Caitlyn Jenner is your hero.
Laverne Cox is your hero.
Becky Hammon is your hero.
Jen Welter is your new hero.
There’s so much more that needs to be done. Racism and sexism and transphobia are still very much present in our everyday lives but this, right here, is just another step forward in what is hopefully the right direction.
And if you have to drag the internet dude-bros kicking and screaming behind you, so be it.
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