Katie Sowers—new San Francisco 49ers assistant coach and second woman ever to coach full-time in the NFL—is also the first openly gay coach—man or woman—in major American men's professional sports, Deadspin reports. Sowers discussed her sexuality for the first time publicly Tuesday on Outsports. "There are so many people who identify as LGBT in the NFL, as in any business, that do not feel comfortable being public about their sexual orientation," Sowers says. She says by being more welcoming to all types of people, the NFL "can help ease the pain and burden that many carry every day.”
Sowers says she wants to inspire girls to follow their passions, but by openly embracing her sexuality she's inspiring other women, as well. “It wasn't that long ago that I wasn't comfortable being out at work," sportscaster Rebecca Fernandez says. "The fact that Katie can live her dream on an NFL sideline and be who she is, 100%, is so incredible." Sowers played women's professional football, leading the US to a world championship in 2013, and was a scouting intern for the Atlanta Falcons in 2016. So far, she says she hasn't had a hard time fitting in while working with the 49ers' wide receivers. The players seem to agree. “Katie is a baller, 100%,” Marquise Goodwin tells KNBR. "It may be a little different, but she definitely has the attitude it takes to be in that room."