It may be surprising, but the NFL just got its first openly gay coach.
The San Francisco 49ers have hired Katie Sowers, making her the team’s first female assistant coach, second full-time female assistant coach, and first openly gay coach in NFL history.
In an interview with Outsports.com, Sowers discussed her sexual orientation for the first time on the record.
“No matter what you do in life, one of the most important things is to be true to who you are,” she said. “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,” Sowers added.
Sowers is not new to the NFL though. She previously worked with coach Kyle Shanahan in 2016, when he was offensive coordinator in Atlanta.
In San Francisco, she will serve as an offensive assistant, and over the past few months, she’s worked with the team’s wide receivers, among other things.
Sowers joins Buffalo Bills quality control coach Kathryn Smith, who last year became the league’s first female full-time assistant.