Joe Montana to Peyton Manning to…Sam Gordon?
The only female player featured among the NFL greats passing around a golden football during a widely praised commercial that aired during the Super Bowl on Sunday night is the 14-year-old winner of the league’s inaugural Game Changer award.
Gordon made history in 2015 when she and her father launched the Utah Girls Tackle Football League – the first of its kind – spurring the creation of similar all-girls leagues in Indiana, Georgia and Canada, the NFL says.
“I was going to a middle school to give a speech about working hard and I asked the question ‘how many girls here would like to play tackle football?’ And it seemed like almost every hand in the room went up,” Gordon said in a video released by the NFL this past weekend featuring her story. “There’s this many girls at this one middle school, how many are there in Utah? In the entire nation? And the world? And next spring, we had a league up and growing.”
The first 50 spots for players is said to have filled up in less than a day, and the league has since grown to include nearly 400 female athletes.
“Sam is a game changer because she is shining a light on football so that girls can feel that ‘I’ve been wrong, I have a seat at the table and I was born with that right,’” her father, Brent, says in the video.
Gordon is now trying to start an all-girls football team at her high school.