Todd’s Nods: Gender barrier breakdown
Todd Colin Vaughan
Recently, Jezebel.com posted a story about a 9-year-old girl who is doing something very rare in her home state of Utah.
Sam Gordon is leading her pee wee football league in rushing after outperforming the entirely male league and earning the starting quarterback position for her team, the Gremlins.
As of Nov. 7, according to Jezebel, Gordon has earned the impressive stats of 1,911 rushing yards, 8.2 yards per carry and 25 touchdowns and earned her coaches’ praise for her amazing speed.
American Football has had many women play at the collegiate level, but to this date there has never been a female NFL player. If young Gordon represents a trend towards female pigskin fanaticism, then the possibility of seeing a woman suit up for the Patriots or the 49ers could one day be very real.
Hypothetically, if Gordon were to reach the NFL in her draft year of 2022, she would join sport pioneers such as Canadian hockey player Hayley Wickenheiser, who played professionally in Sweden in in the all-male Swedish elite league after leading Team Canada for several years, and Annika Sorenstam, who competed against males on the PGA tour after dominating the LPGA for several years.
The gender barrier has existed in sports for many years and has often been justified by the genetic differences between the male and female physique. There are, however, examples of female accomplishments that defy this tired barrier including the Edmonton Grads, who were a basketball team that still hold the North American record for the best winning percentage of all time, amassing the record of 502 wins – 20 losses between 1915 and 1940.
Perhaps one day, the demographics of gender in professional sports will be equal with that of the world.
Todd’s Nods is a reoccurring column that is open to the public. If you know of a sports story that is worth the nod please tweet @toddcvaughan