This season, San Francisco 49ers coach Katie Sowers will become the NFL’s second full-time assistant female coach and first openly LGBT coach, male or female.

Sowers, who will also become the first openly gay coach in any male pro team sport, played pro football in the Women’s Football Alliance and helped lead the U.S. to the women’s world title and gold medal in 2013. She was later hired as general manager of the Kansas City Titans of the World Football Alliance.

In 2016, she worked as a scouting intern with the Atlanta Falcons. When she was appointed to the 49ers position earlier this month, she thanked Falcons assistant general manager Scott Pioli on Facebook:

On her time with the Falcons, Kyle Shanahan – then the team’s offensive coordinator, now 49ers head coach – said:

“She did a really good job for us in Atlanta. She’s done a real good job here. She helps [wide receivers coach/passing game specialist] Mike LaFleur out just with some rotations. She helps our quality controls with all the stuff they have to do. She’s a hard worker. You don’t even notice her because she just goes to work and does what’s asked and because of that she’s someone we would like to keep around.”

 

When asked by Outsports why she is discussing her sexual orientation for the first time, Sowers said:

“No matter what you do in life, one of the most important things is to be true to who you are. 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.

“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 added she believes the NFL would accept an openly gay male coach. “What most people need to remember,” she said, “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.”

Watch an interview with Sowers below.

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This article was originally published on Towleroad. Read the original article.

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