According to USA Today, Lauren Silberman, a 28-year-old resident of New York City will make NFL history this weekend at the NFL Regional Scouting Combine in Florham Park, New Jersey. Silberman, who will get a tryout as a place-kicker, will be the first female participant at the event set up for local players who weren’t invited to take part in the festivities last week.
The New York City resident has never played football at any level before, but she did play soccer for the University of Wisconsin and will be hoping that her kicking skills are sufficient enough to get her to the Super Regional Combine in Dallas next month.
Silberman spoke about the decision to foray into a new sport and the support she has gotten since.
I saw the opportunity and had to go for it. I love football, new experiences, and wanted to take the chance to learn more about the training process that leads to a successful NFL career. It was a bit of a surprise to some but mostly just an outcry of “That’s my girl! (and) ‘You go, Silbs!’ … My family and friends seem to be getting a kick out of this.
The 28-year-old also talked about not letting the fact that she is a woman impact her decision to do something that has never been done before.
I didn’t think about my gender when I registered. I just wanted to go out and compete with the best, learn more about the combine process, and, above all, have fun. I am glad that it has focused attention on increasing opportunities for women and am so proud to be able to kick through this open door! I think the NFL should be applauded for giving women a chance. I hope my willingness to put myself out there inspires others to participate as athletes at this level.
The NFL tends to get a lot of bad publicity and most of it deservedly so, but embracing women into the sport and encouraging gender equality is something they should be commended for.