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On November 22nd, history was made. Sarah Fuller became the first woman to ever play in a Power 5 conference game.  

 

Fuller was recruited from the Vanderbilt soccer team to be the kicker for the Vanderbilt football team. Fuller is a senior goalie who led her soccer team to a Southeast Conference Winning Season. She even wore her soccer number 32 on her football jersey. As well as “Play Like A Girl” printed on the back of her helmet.  

 

Sarah Fuller also gave a message to her younger fans. 

 

"I just want to tell all the girls out there that you can do anything you set your mind to, you really can; And if you have that mentality all the way through, you can do big things." (ABC News) 

 

However, since this news broke, not everyone is supportive of a woman playing on a highly competitive football team. 

 

Sarah posted a picture on Instagram of her wearing her jersey and holding her helmet with the caption, “Let’s make history” 

 

There was a large amount of backlash and sexist comments on her post.  

 

“You’re a kicker, don’t let it get to your head”, “All of the sudden the kicker position became such a historical position”, “Vandy is getting desperate”, “Hey at least you’re hot”, “Let’s see how long you last” 

 

This is just a handful of the comments. 

 

Instead of dragging Sarah down, we should be building her up for playing a part in breaking the gender barrier in athletics. This takes an immense amount of bravery, and confidence to step up to this position. Sarah is now a role model for girls everywhere who dream of being able to play in the same sports as boys.  

 

Sarah is now one of three women to play in the FBS, along with Katie Hnida (New Mexico, 2003), and April Gross (Kent State, 2015) 

The #PlayLikeAGirl is so important, it is creating a movement to encourage women and girls of all ages to participate and reach their fullest potential in athletics and STEM. 

 

We are slowly but surely breaking down the gender barrier. Congratulations Sarah, this girl gang is supporting you. 

Business Major & MJD Minor Member of Women's Volleyball and Hope Happens Here
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