Kim Pegula has become a huge influence for women in the NFL and continues to inspire as more women join the NFL.
Kim Pegula and her husband, Terry Pegula, have constantly won the hearts of Buffalo fans — both football and hockey — since they purchased the Sabres in 2011 and the Buffalo Bills in 2014. She joined a small group of women owners in the NFL, but never let that get in her way of doing what she came here to do — help Buffalo win.
Before Saturday’s preseason game vs. the New York Giants — which marked the first game played at New Era Field — she met up with two other females that helped make it a historic day for women in the NFL.
The first woman was Kathryn Smith, the Bills’ special teams quality control coach and the NFL’s first full-time female coach. The second was Sarah Thomas, who is entering her second season as a line judge in the NFL and was featured as one in Saturday’s game. It was the first time in NFL history that this has happened.
You can see the photo of Kim, Sarah and Kathryn here.
Less than a week ago, Kim was interviewed by espnW and had a lot of things to say about women in the NFL. When asked of some of the problems she’s faced for being a woman in the NFL, she replied:
"“Football is itself is so male-dominated because all of the scouts, coaches and even the general manager played football, so they’ve been around it all of their lives. It’s hard coming into an organization when, as a female, you don’t have that experience. That’s the hardest part for me. The business side of things came easier. And I was pleasantly surprised, coming into the NFL, to see quite a few women involved either at the league level or higher up, or even just ownership.”"
"“As for Terry and I, all of the other owners and the league itself treat us both equally. They encourage me to be more active and to get involved in committees. [Laughs] Actually, they ask me more than they ask Terry.”"
Later on, she was asked what the biggest thing holding women back in the NFL. She responded:
"“I think it’s lack of experience. Women don’t have the same access to experience as men do growing up. There’s flag football for girls, or you hear a story about a girl playing youth football, but in general we don’t have the experience to qualify us to get in the coaching door or top-level management. It’s going to be hard to climb that ladder because of that. I can’t speak for Kathryn, but she took advantage of her opportunities, focused on a particular area, and she knows her football. It didn’t happen overnight for her.”"
You can view the entire transcript from the interview here.
Hopefully the sights we saw on Saturday prove that women know football, too. Whether it be at an ownership level, a coaching level or even at a referee level.
What are your thoughts on Kim Pegula’s efforts with women in the NFL? Leave your comments below!