Katie Sowers, of the San Francisco 49ers, became the NFL's second full-time female coach earlier this month. But Tuesday, Sowers also became the league's first openly LGBT coach.
“No matter what you do in life, one of the most important things is to be true to who you are,” Sowers told Jim Buzinski of SB Nation's 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."
"The more we can create an environment that welcomes all types of people, no matter their race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, the more we can help ease the pain and burden that many carry every day."
The 49ers' head coach, Kyle Shanahan, said he didn't hire her because she is a woman or because she's gay. Sowers got to know Shanahan while working as an intern with the Atlanta Falcons. The 49ers coach was reportedly so impressed with her that he hired her as a assistant for the 2017 season.
"We were in Atlanta, and people asked, 'Why did you want to bring a girl here?' I didn't even look at it that way," Shanahan told The Mercury News.
Sowers added that she thinks a openly gay male coach would also be accepted.
"What most people need to remember is that the NFL is a place of work for these players and it is a job that provides for their families," Sowers told Outsports. "They are professionals and what you will find is they act like professionals in everything they do."