Katie Hnida, the first woman to score in a Division I-A college football game, recently released her autobiography, "Still Kicking: My Journey as the First Woman to Play Division One College Football."
She shares her saga that began as a kicker at Chatfield High in Littleton, Colorado, where she was named one of the 20 Most Influential Teens in America by Teen People. She then walked-on as a kicker for Colorado where she says she was sexually abused by teammates, and among other childish pranks, had footballs thrown at her head. Not typical team-building behavior or college memories, for sure. However, what is most disconcerning, is that this behavior was perhaps deemed as acceptable and even celebrated among the rest of the team.
Despite all she endured, Hnida was able to continue playing college football. She found acceptance at New Mexico and on Aug. 30, 2003, she made history when she converted two PATs for the Lobos in a victory over Texas State.
Is there any hope for females who tryout and legitimately make a team comprised of all males to receive equal treatment? It seems as if the trend is to take it easy on the females or punish them and show them they do not belong on the same playing field.
Conversely, I recently read about a high school male in Wisconsin who was not allowed to train and compete on his school's girls' gymnastic team. His attorney, Jared Redfield, told the Chicago Tribune, "Why not treat the genders equally?...If women can go on our football team and they can wrestle in tournaments, why in the world if there's no access for a male to participate in gymnastics should they not be on the girls' team?" I think he has a good case. What do you think - how could this affect your sport?
(Photo provided by Getty Images, taken by Brian Bahr)