49ers' Katie Sowers comes out as gay, becoming 1st openly LGBT coach in NFL
San Francisco assistant is also 2nd full-time female coach in league history
Katie Sowers, the second full-time female coach in NFL history, has already begun breaking down gender walls in sports. Now she's breaking down walls as part of the LGBT community.
On Tuesday, Sowers publicly came out as gay, making her the first openly gay coach in male professional sports.
"No matter what you do in life, one of the most important things is to be true to who you are," Sowers, a San Francisco 49ers' assistant wide receivers coach told Outsports.com. "There are so many people who identify as LGBT in the NFL, as in any business, that do not feel comfortable being public about their sexual orientation."
Sowers, 31, wants to help create a safe place in sports for members of various groups.
Who a coach loves has no impact on the way they coach football.- Katie Sowers
"The more we can create an environment that welcomes all types of people, no matter their race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, the more we can help ease the pain and burden that many carry every day."
She also made a point to express her thoughts on how an openly gay male coach would be accepted in the NFL, and how people need to adapt in team sports in order to be successful.
"I do believe that an openly gay male coach would be accepted just like anyone else. What most people need to remember is that the NFL is a place of work for these players and it is a job that provides for their families. They are professionals and what you will find is they act like professionals in everything they do," said Sowers. "Who a coach loves has no impact on the way they coach football and if they are unable to make that adjustment, they will have a hard time in any job or team they are a part of."
Speaking last week in a local radio interview, 49ers wide receiver Marquise Goodwin praised Sowers for her work on the field.
"Katie is a baller, 100 per cent," said Goodwin. "She understands the game. She's very familiar with the game. She played in a women's league and it may be a little different, but she definitely has the attitude it takes to be in that room. She brings a great vibe and she understands so I'm happy that she's on staff."