Woman breaks barrier by playing football with men


Jennifer Welter was tackled for a one-yard loss on her first carry as a running back for the Texas Revolution on Saturday, but she had still made history: The Revolution play in the Indoor Football League, and Welter is believed to be the first woman to play a position other than kicker or holder in any football league for adult men.

At 5-foot-2 and 130 pounds, Welter is quite a bit smaller than her teammates and opponents, but she has played linebacker in a women’s tackle football league for several years, and she said she had no problems with a 6-foot-4, 245-pound defensive end tackling her.

I said, ‘Is that all you got?’” Welter told the Dallas Morning News. “They were getting all alive, and I had to say something. I didn’t want them to think I was intimidated.”

Welter knew it wouldn’t be easy playing against men, but when the Revolution gave her the opportunity, she wanted to take a shot.

“I’ve thought of all the reasons why I might be the wrong person to do this: ‘You’re too small, you’re too this, you’re too that,'” she said. “The truth is if I can change the game, literally, for any of those girls, it’s worth it.”

Welter showed girls that football is for them, too.

20 responses to “Woman breaks barrier by playing football with men

  1. This rules. But she can thank Lauren Silberman and her stupid sideshow at the regional Combine last year for the little attention this story (and actual accomplishment) has received.

  2. What? She got lit up lol. Any girl thinking about playing football is giving it second thoughts. I commend her for trying, but at 130lbs, I don’t know how much good she did.

  3. 5′-2″ and 130lbs will never win the battle against someone 245lbs. She’d better get a huge cup a talent from Barry Sanders or she’s going to get killed. No one that undersized should be playing unless they can completely avoid the tackles. It doesn’t matter which gender.

  4. First, good for her. But I saw the footage. This girl got ROCKED! I saw 3 rush attempts of hers and every one of them was for no gain or a loss. One of them took her off her feet and she flew back at least 5 feet.

  5. All the talk about the need for improved safety in the game and now this? If women want to play football, let them form a women’s league and play! But putting a 130 lb. woman in a situation where she could be leveled by a 300 lb. DT is just stupid.

    For her safety and the sake of the sport, I hope that chivalry is NOT dead and that guys will pull their punches a bit.

  6. Wow. This chick has bigger balls than most of the posters here. And to inform the uninformed, there are two women’s full-contact football leagues – WFA and IWFL, both of which have been around for years. I played for a now defunct league for 4 years as a C/OG. Concerned about 300 lbs DTs? There are plenty of 250+ lbs DTs in the womens leagues. I went up against DT/NTs that outweighed me by 50 – 100lbs. This chick loves the game so much that she’s willing to go up against guys and do it for free. All you keyboard commandos should be as tough as she is.

  7. Good for her. I like @ravenschick’s post above me, “Wow. This chick has bigger balls than most of the posters here.” I love that you played the game, and I give much respect to women who continue to follow their dream as this woman did. I’d love to hear more about your story as a player in womens tackle football. You probably have a ton of great ones to tell your kids, nieces & nephews.

    News like this rocks. It truly does.

  8. I dunno, I’m thinking “made history” should be saved for something a little more substantial than a publicity gimmick.

  9. @godofwine330 – It was a dream come true to play REAL football and knowing the Xs and Os really adds to my enjoyment as a football fan. (I also coached OL for 3 years.) And yup, I’ve got tons of stories, some of which would make Jonathon Martin very uncomfortable! But beyond that, I know I’ve set an example for my nieces that they can follow their athletic dreams (one is a very good soccer player, the other lacrosse) and my stepsons know not to eff with me (even though one is 6’2″ and 250 lbs). I had to retire because of a bad back, but I miss playing (especially pancaking big, slow DTs).

  10. ravenschick says: Feb 19, 2014 9:24 AM

    Wow. This chick has bigger balls than most of the posters here. And to inform the uninformed, there are two women’s full-contact football leagues – WFA and IWFL, both of which have been around for years.

    You forgot to mention the Lingerie Football League (which i thought was a complete farce until i actually watched the game and realized that its just full contact in pads w/ a bathing suit).

    With that being said, though, there is and most likely always will be a big difference between a 250lb female LB and a 250 male LB.

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