Kelly Kleine: It is important to show women belong in sports

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When the Broncos named Kelly Kleine their executive director of football operations and special advisor to General Manager George Paton, she became the highest-ranking woman in scouting in league history, according to the NFL.

Kleine’s duties include assisting the team’s pro and college scouting departments, overseeing the Broncos’ video and equipment departments and aiding the team’s personnel and coaching staffs in player evaluation.

It’s surreal,” Kleine told Aric DiLalla of the team website. “There is so much history here at the Broncos, and I am honored to be joining such a well-respected, successful organization. They have an incredible winning tradition, great fans and a special community in Denver that loves this team. I’ve heard nothing but great things from George about everybody here, from Vic Fangio to Joe Ellis to the entire staff. I’m extremely grateful to George, Joe and the entire Broncos organization for this opportunity.

“I also want to thank Rick Spielman and everyone at the Vikings for all of their support to help me get to this point — I have been privileged to learn and grow from so many outstanding people with the Vikings. I am ready to get to work and help the Broncos in whatever capacity I can.”

Kleine worked with Paton in Minnesota for 10 years, most recently as the Vikings’ manager of player personnel/college scout.

She said she was unaware of making history when she took the job. Billie Jean King, a 12-time Grand Slam singles winner, was among those to congratulate her.

“It is an absolute honor, but I hope someone passes me up soon,” Kleine said. “If anything, I hope it does let women know that there are these opportunities across the NFL. You don’t have to play football to work in the NFL. I hope I set a positive example for all women who want to break into football. I want to inspire women to keep growing in the NFL and throughout all of sports. It is important to show that women belong in sports. There have been so many women who paved the way for opportunities in this league and in football. I’m thankful to them, and I want to have the same impact for others.”

10 responses to “Kelly Kleine: It is important to show women belong in sports

  1. Women belong in sports if they are the most qualified for it. Not because of affirmative action.

  2. Key thing she said that applies to men and women – “you don’t have to play football to work in the NFL”.

  3. Hopefully she’ll have the support she needs. Doors could open for more women if she does well.

  4. Kelly Kleine is qualified. While women hirings in male sports is accelerating, you have to assume a new GM in George Patton doesn’t make that hire if he doesn’t really believe in Kleine. He wants to succeed and keep his job.

    Is Kleine the most qualified person for the job? Maybe. Maybe not. Yet people get hired everyday because of their network. It happens with men too. Paton trusts Kleine. Big opportunity for her to shine.

  5. This is excellent.

    I’ve always thought an equally qualified woman would have better player acquisition outcomes than most of the men who’ve been making those decisions. Hopefully one will get a GM gig soon.

  6. We need more of this kind of equity and inclusion in areas where men hold most of the positions. Next, we break the glass ceiling in areas like building roads and bridges, grave digging, front line combat, fire fighting, farm hand, crane operator, heavy vehicle mechanic, roofing, electrical repairs, cement workers, SWAT Team, and Lumberjack, to name a few. Of course these jobs may not pay as much as some corporate and service management jobs, but that’s no reason to deny women access. Most women would LOVE an opportunity to do these kinds of jobs. It would allow them to work AND have a wider choice of life partners because they wouldn’t be making megabucks from say, running an NFL Scouting Department, so there would be more higher earning men for them to “marry up.” These highly credentialed corporate women struggle to find life partners because let’s face it, how many men are making more money than them that they can marry? There’s still lot of work to do in order to make America an even more fair place for women. Amirite?

  7. Kelly Kleine cut her teeth as a women’s pro wrestler winning several single and tag team championships. Seems natural she would be the right person to run a football team, no matter how many qualified men there were that have spent their entire lives in the game.

  8. twofourfourthree says:
    May 18, 2021 at 9:22 pm
    Key thing she said that applies to men and women – “you don’t have to play football to work in the NFL”.

    But the odds go up exponentially if you have a family connection already working in the league. It’s still a good old boys club.

  9. It will be nice when hiring women to work on NFL teams is no longer a big deal. Sheila Hamp talked about being told there were no jobs available for her when she was younger.

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