Being a woman and an NFL fan

Sonja Greenfield, Detroit Lions Reporter

By Sonja Greenfield // @Mom23RN

It’s not easy being a female sports fan.  More specifically, a female football fan.

On Monday, it was announced that the Cleveland Browns signed former Kansas City Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt. To refresh our memory, Hunt was released by the Chiefs back in November for domestic violence allegations.  He was caught on camera kicking a woman in a hotel. Though he still potentially faces disciplinary action from the League, as of today, he’s a Cleveland Brown.

My husband once told me, “I don’t know how you can be a woman and still like the NFL.”  Ummm…wow.  That hurt a little bit. But he’s right. (And no, this isn’t the first time I’ve acknowledged that he’s right, BTW)

Days like Monday remind us all why it’s hard to be a woman and like the NFL. The NFL seems to not care when it comes to violence against women.

Bottom line, it can be hard to be a woman and like sports. Not just the NFL. You deal with sexist comments in person and online.  But what’s more important is that, in regards to the NFL, you also have to deal with a league not really respecting women as fans.

In the past, there has been lip service given to domestic violence crimes. The “No More” Campaign, and also the “special task force” of women that were supposed to help with domestic violence issues. However, those commercials stopped airing, and the Task Force didn’t really implement anything.

The NFL will react, hope that something is good enough, and then forget about it until the next time the issue comes up. The league may suspend for a game or two, the league may fine the player, but that’s it. The team may cut you, but if you’re talented enough, as is the case with Hunt, someone will prioritize winning.

And it’s up to us as female fans to decide if we’re OK with that.

A lot of us have decided that we are. I’m not judging, because I’m right there with you. Sometimes, that can be very, very, VERY hard to reconcile. Especially when it comes to the team you support, like my fellow writer Kate said.  And even if you decide to not watch any longer, what good would that do? They already don’t take women very seriously.

My hope is that one day the NFL would recognize how badly this looks and take this issue sincerely. However, the reality is that we’ll be upset for a few more days, and then move on to Combine coverage.

But, at least for now, such is the life of an NFL fan.


Follow Sonja on Twitter // @Mom23RN

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