The NFL still has plenty of work to do when it comes to repairing its image, but some significant strides have been made.
Washington Football Team has been at the forefront of that change thanks to decisions like finally getting rid of its ridiculously racist moniker and naming Jason Wright as its team president, making him the first Black person to hold that position. The team can also boast that it now has the first Black female assistant coach with Tuesday’s (Jan.26) announcement it was promoting Jennifer King to assistant running backs coach. She also becomes the second woman In NFL league history to earn an assistant coaching position following Tampa Bay’s assistant defensive line coach Lori Locust.
King is no stranger to the football field. She was an assistant at Dartmouth College and for the Arizona Hotshots of the Alliance of American Football League. King would eventually intern for Ron Rivera during his stint with the Carolina Panthers before following him to Washington. She spent the entire season as a coaching intern under Rivera and working with running backs coach Randy Jordan.
Rivera spoke glowingly of his new assistant coach, saying she was eager for the opportunity and deserving of the promotion:
“The sky is truly the limit for her. She got the chance to experience not only the in-season work that goes into being a full-time coach in this league but also the countless hours that are spent preparing in the offseason, as well.
“She demonstrated all of the qualities that are needed to work full time on my staff. She is a hard worker, a great communicator, and a quality person. Coach King is always eager to learn and has shown tremendous growth since starting here last season.”
Randy Jordan, whom she will continue to work with, but now on a full-time basis, is looking forward to working with King.
“I am very pleased to have coach King back to assist me full time in the running backs room. She was extremely helpful last year in seeing the game from a different perspective, and she was a tremendous communicator in our room. I look forward to continuing to collaborate as we move forward in our program and as she moves forward in her coaching career.”
Just recently, history was made during the Washington Football Team and Tampa Bay Buccaneer’s NFC Wild Card game because both teams had a female coach on the sideline. The Super Bowl-bound Bucs had two with Locust and assistant strength and conditioning coach Maral Javadifar. Tampa Bay head coach Bruce Arians is all aboard with the idea of women calling shots on NFL sidelines, saying that women caching in the NFL is “the wave of the future.”
Whether it be the NFL, NBA, MLS, or MLB, this is the progress we absolutely love to see. Congrats to Jennifer King on her well-deserved promotion.
Photo: Christian Petersen / Getty