Women's Sport: Could Carli Lloyd become the first female to play in the NFL?

Carli Lloyd has said that she’s “not closing any doors” on the possibility of playing in the NFL.

The US Women’s National Team forward, who currently plays for Sky Blue, has said that there’s “definitely the potential” for a move to the National Football League following her soccer career. 

Last summer, Lloyd visited a Philadelphia Eagles training session and a Twitter video showed her hitting field goals from 55-yards which led to suggestions that she could consider a career as a kicker.

Not long after the video emerged, former vice president of player personnel for the Dallas Cowboys, Gil Brandt, said, “I don’t think it will be long before we see a woman break through this NFL barrier.”

If the 37-year-old was to pursue and achieved an NFL career, she would be the first-ever woman to successfully do so. Ahead of this weekend’s Superbowl between San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs, Lloyd told CNN that she isn’t ruling out a career move.

“Obviously, I’m kind of in the thick of things right now and this year with soccer and Olympic qualifying at the present moment, and then going to the Olympics, [but] there’s definitely the potential,” the two-time World Cup champion said.

Lloyd also paid homage to Katie Sowers who will become the first-ever woman, as well as the first-ever openly gay person, to coach in a Superbowl. Sowers is an assistant coach to the 49ers who also used to play football and has already won the respect of world-champion Lloyd.

“I saw some highlights of her [from when she played football] and it’s so cool to be able to see that and now she’s pursuing something that she’s passionate about and going to the Super Bowl with the team,” Lloyd told CNN.

“I think what’s really cool about [Sowers] is the players don’t view her as a female coach. “The players view her as their coach. And to me that that’s the way it should be,” she added. 

To further suspicion that Carli Lloyd could be toying with the idea of a career as a kicker, the two-time FIFA Player of the Year has featured in a deodorant advertisement as a kicker in an American Football game. The advert, called ‘The Secret Kicker’, aims to inspire “females and supporters alike to #KickInequality”.

“It’s a football ad, but I think it’s more than just that -it’s getting the conversation started and I was super excited to be part of it,” Lloyd said.

“There has been zero opportunity [for women in NFL]. But I think that it’s bold statements like this and starting these conversations to know that women can be just as good, if not better than men,” she added.

“There’s no telling that someone like myself or somebody else wouldn’t be able to kick in the NFL.”

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