The National Football League hosted its fifth annual Women’s Careers in Football Forum via Zoom earlier in the week as part of its ongoing commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion opportunity to prove the hard work.
The Forum educated and connected 40 female candidates (75 percent who were women of color) currently working in college football roles with owners, general managers, head coaches, and club executives in the NFL and in college football programs. The candidates participated in panel discussions, breakout sessions, and networking activities.
On Wednesday, we were able to attend one of the forums with NFL Director of Football Development Samantha Rapaport as the moderator. Among the speakers in attendance were Lori Locust (assistant defensive line coach, Tampa Bay Buccaneers), Callie Brownson (chief of staff, Cleveland Browns), Jennifer King (assistant running backs coach, Washington Football Team), and commissioner Roger Goodell.
Locust spoke about the pressure, practices, schedules, and staying consistent, while Brownson spoke about the importance of a live game and how they are an “opportunity to prove the hard work.” Goodell spoke about the forum and the internships that were available, while also speaking highly of King, who was the first African-American female assistant position coach in NFL history.
The attendees got a chance to listen to the coaches and hear their experiences and advice they gave out, while the coaches urged everyone to follow their dreams even if other laughs at them for doing so.