The San Francisco 49ers have taken a stand for diversity, and they have hired the first Openly Gay coach in NFL history. Katie Sowers will be an assistant for the team, and she will be the second female assistant in the league. She has blazed a trail that could lead to more diversity in the NFL, and she could become a rising star in the coaching profession. She is one who could lead the way for other NFL teams to make a change in hiring, and Kyle Shanahan is a very young coach who could be open to hiring more female coaches.

The hire is a move in the right direction

Hiring female coaches and openly gay coaches is a large part of what will make the NFL relevant in 10 to 20 years. The league must reach out to every segment of society, and the league must make strides to represent as many people as possible. It would be silly, for example, to call the Cowboys "America's Team" if they do not represent more of America in the future. We have a team in the nation's capitol who should represent more of America, and San Francisco is a melting pot that has taken the first step.

Why does it matter?

Katie Sowers matters because she leads the way for other people to be hired in the same positions. She could be held up as an example of what could be done in the NFL if teams were to value diversity.

The next openly gay coach to have a good chance of being hired will have Katie in front of them as the model for how teams should hire. I believe the 49ers have done the right thing, and I hope that this leads to even more inclusion in the league.

Players coming out

I do not know if there are any gay players in the NFL, but I know that the statistics on our society in general say that there should be some gay players in the NFL.

Anyone in the league who is in the LGBTQIA community must have someone they can go to as their friend and confidante on the staff. Teams that are hiring gay coaches give their gay players more room to come out, and it would be important for these players to blaze their own trail of inclusion. I would be impressed if players across the NFL started to come out because they had a coach on their staff that they could trust and lean on.

Hope

I hope that the NFL will continue to promote the inclusion of everyone in our society in the most popular game in this country. The NFL makes billions of dollars a year, and they often make those dollars from the LGBT community who are watching, buying tickets, and perhaps playing the game. Inclusion matters for them.

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