Women's Sport: First female NFL coach, Jen Welter, talks about featuring in video game

In 2015, Jennifer Welter was hired as an assistant coaching intern for the Arizona Cardinals, becoming the first woman to coach in the NFL. Now she has been included in the video game Madden NFL 20.

The Canadian Press reports that she has described it as one of her “coolest achievements”. 

She was speaking at a panel event and said the inclusion came about after she had a conversation with a Madden consultant: “(I told them) ‘Girls can’t see themselves in your game.’ Everything is about a sin of omission in football. You don’t have to tell girls that they can’t play, right? You show them because they can’t see themselves playing anywhere.”

Welter said: “We have to look at all angles of culture.” She explained: “So if you want to see the change in sport that includes sport video games, it includes sports research, it includes sports media, it includes things as powerful and prolific as hip-hop culture, right?

“Are we dropping female names to the same extent that we are male names? Or where are our warm-up songs coming from? Or do our videos not only show like guys out there balling but women as well?”

Welter has played football throughout her life and has two world women’s championships to her name with the US. She also became the second woman to play a position that wasn’t kicker or holder on a men’s professional American football team when she became running back for the Texas Revolution. 

She also has a PhD in psychology and masters degree in sports psychology, so knows what she is talking about when it comes to making sports more accessible.

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