One Small Step for Woman

Noa Rosenberg The world of sports was rocked recently when a football team, The Arizona Cardinals, hired the first female assistant coach in NFL history, Jen Welter. This is not, however, the first breakthrough for women in football this year, as the league recently hired Sarah Thomas as a full-time on-field official. Welter is no newcomer to the sport as she is a former women’s collegiate rugby and pro football player. Reactions to this decision have been mixed, as expected, with some supportive and some skeptical. Events like this make one think about the impact he or she could have on the community around them. Coach Bower gave some of his thoughts on the matter. “My initial impression would be that it’s long overdue. I think it’s great now that it’s happened and hopefully the door will get wider and we’ll have more qualified coaches of any gender getting the opportunity.” When asked how he feels about gender representation in sports at Latin, he relayed some well-known statistics of Latin sports; there are more female than male sports teams and there are female coaches for both girl’s and boy’s sports. He concluded by saying that the NFL’s coaching change-ups, “wouldn’t necessarily change the focus on women coaching because [he thinks] it’s great and would already love to have more.” For another perspective, The Forum also sat down with Latin student and avid tennis player Alessandra Bianco. She began by stating her belief that the sports program at Latin does not have problems in terms of gender, but highlighted an issue in the outside sports world saying, “there definitely could be more female coaches, that is, more female coaches even if it is considered a ‘male sport’ be it football or men’s tennis.” While this hire is certainly a huge step for women in football as well as other national sport leagues, there is a long way to go before equality is achieved. As for me, I hope that one day sports—as well as other things—can become a true meritocracy and not be decided by gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, or any other factor other than ability. And, moreover, my hope is that when things like this occur in the future, it is so ordinary that it does not have to become a national news story.]]>