Black women are making historic moves in the realm of sports. According to ESPN, Jennifer King was recently hired to serve as a coach for the Washington Football Team; making her the first Black woman assistant coach in the National Football League’s 101-year history.
Prior to becoming a coach, King had a storied career as a player. She spent 11 years playing for the Carolina Phoenix women’s tackle football team and was a seven-time All-American wide receiver and quarterback. She also had a stint with the New York Sharks and helped lead the team to the Women’s Football Alliance championship in 2018. King played for the D.C. Divas team in 2019. She began her football coaching career as an offensive assistant coach for Dartmouth College and went on to intern for the Carolina Panthers. She also served as an assistant wide receiver coach for the Alliance of American Football’s Arizona Hotshots.
Before her appointment, King was hired as a full-year coaching intern with Washington where she provided guidance for the team’s running backs. On January 26, she was promoted to assistant coach. King says her appointment is a step forward towards changing the narrative surrounding racial and gender representation in sports leadership. “Representation means so much,” she said in a statement, according to the news outlet. “It’s really important right now to be a good representative, what I didn’t have growing up. I didn’t have anyone that looked anything like me working. To be able to see that, I think, is big. It’s super cool to be a part of this.”
News about King’s milestone comes after Bianca Smith became the first Black woman coach in the MLB’s 151-year history after she was hired as a minor league coach for the Red Sox.