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Utah High-Schooler Honored at NFL Ceremony

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Utah chapter.

The National Football League held their annual awards show, NFL Honors, on Saturday, February 3, 2018. The show, held a day before the super bowl, awards the top players of the year, honoring the Most Valuable Player, Best Rookies, etc. while also honoring those who have impacted the game in different ways on and off the field.

This year, a Utah high schooler found her name being called on the same stage as NFL MVP Tom Brady, as Sam Gordon received the inaugural “Game Changer” award. Gordon, with the help of her father, started the first all girls tackle football league in the nation. A league that has laid the groundwork for other all-girl tackle football leagues like it to pop-up around the nation. “I know girls want to play football,” Gordon said in her acceptance speech, “Because I’ve asked them.”

And she is right. In the inaugural season of the Utah Girls Tackle Football League, every spot was filled. Not only are girls telling Gordon they want to play, but they are signing up as well. Many will remember Gordon from her father’s viral videos years ago showing her run circles around boys, in an all boy tackle football league, wearing full pads scoring touchdown after touchdown.

Years later and she finds herself determined to start a girls tackle football team at her high school. Gordon, in her speech, also shrugged off the ridiculous notion that girls don’t want to play football. “People who don’t think girls want to play football are wrong,” Gordon said. “They were just as wrong as people who thought women did not want to vote, did not want to hold political office, or did not want to be lawyers and doctors.”

Gordon won the award as she continues to push her way into a mostly male dominated sport, and as she looks to add more opportunities for girls to play football at both the high school and collegiate level.


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