by Anne Montgomery
The NFL has a perception problem. Domestic abuse, child abuse, cheating. Understandably, our most popular and lucrative team spectator sport is trying to rid itself of a host of bad press, much of which has threatened to alienate close to half the league’s fans.
It may come as a shock to some football buffs, but about 45% of the NFL’s fan base is female. Women spend roughly 1.5 billion dollars annually on team memorabilia, half the league’s total sales. The NFL’s market value is listed at 45 billion dollars, equal almost to Starbucks. Now imagine if the company that provides your morning latte disregarded half its clientele.
Then the NFL hired a female official. Sarah Thomas will take the field this season, the first woman to don stripes and toss a yellow flag for the league. Also a positive step, though it’s easy to question the timing of this hire. Clearly, the NFL could have put a woman in the officiating ranks earlier, but why quibble.
While the Cardinals appear to have independently come up with the idea of bringing Welter on board, one can’t help but wonder if NFL executives – read the Commissioner’s office – didn’t send down some double top-secret directive to all teams: Find a place for women now!
In the interest of full disclosure, I have been an NFL fan for most of my life. Despite the league’s foibles, there’s probably little they can do to drive me away from my TV come Sunday. Still the NFL would be wise to consider the concerns of all of its fans, lest it drop that golden egg and no longer find itself listed as the highest-grossing sport league in the world.
Now, if we could just get them to do something about those cheerleaders.
Anne Montgomery was interviewed by Fox News. Click here to read or watch what Anne had to say.
Not only is Anne Montgomery a sports aficionado, she is also a passionate author. Here is a little from her latest mystery.
The Amtrak Sunset Limited, a passenger train en route to Los Angeles, is derailed in their midst’s, a deadly act of sabotage. Their lives are thrown into turmoil when local and state police, FBI investigators, and a horde of reporters make camp by the twisted wreckage of the Sunset Limited. As the search for the saboteurs continues, the authorities find more questions than answers. The girl mysteriously vanishes, the assassin struggles to maintain his sanity, and a child is about to be born in the wilderness.
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When she can, Anne indulges in her passions: rock collecting, scuba diving, football refereeing, and playing her guitar.
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