Women Don’t Need to Play Football to Analyze It

Play football

On Tuesday, ESPN analyst Mina Kimes criticized NFL QB Jimmy Garoppolo’s playoff performance in which she said, “Jimmy Garoppolo isn’t the reason they’re winning. They’re winning with him, but not because of him … He posted the second-lowest QBR in 15 years [against the Packers].” It didn’t take long after Kimes commented on Garoppolo’s performance for angry misogynists like former 49ers QB Jeff Garcia (anyone know who that is? I don’t) to chauvinistically rant about how Kimes can’t criticize football players because she hasn’t and doesn’t play(ed) football.

Garcia’s argument is not new and anyone who doesn’t identify as a man and enjoys male-dominated sports like football has probably heard it before. Many men (those who do and also don’t play football) have collectively decided that they are the only ones who can ever have an opinion related to the game and if by god for some reason you’re a woman, don’t even attempt to mention what you think. Mina Kimes is extremely smart and full of knowledge about football. She doesn’t need to show anyone her resume for her sports expertise to be displayed. And yet insecure, vile men like Garcia and basically any man who’s angry about successful women in the sports world will always share their hatred for women through their vitriolic comments.

Several years ago before I truly learned how to stick up for myself, I got into an argument with a distant cousin about this exact topic of women coaching or analyzing football without having played the game. He antagonized me when I said I wanted to become a football coach because he said “women can’t coach football.” I fell in love with football later on in my life than most people, but I’ve studied and learned so much ever since then. And we all know I have OPINIONS about football that I will continue to gladly share no matter how many men say women can’t. I’m just lucky that I’ve worked with supportive and encouraging men at both the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and Our Daily Bears who don’t condescend me just because I’m a girl who likes football. Just as we don’t have to be filmmakers or directors to analyze movies or chefs to critique the food we eat at restaurants, women do not have to play football to become anything we want in the football world. And any man who disagrees can respectfully fuck off!

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