A Golden Opportunity to Highlight Women’s Football

A Golden Opportunity to Highlight Women's Football

Growing up in St. Louis, Markus Golden defied the odds to make it to the NFL.

His dream wasn’t just to play under the bright lights on Sunday.

“I always wanted to help others as a kid,” the Cardinals linebacker said, “and when I came into the league, I wanted to give back to the community.”

His latest contribution came Thursday when the Cardinals organization, including Nicole Bidwill, mascot Big Red and the Cardinals cheerleaders, participated in the Nike Kickoff Classic highlighting female flag football players in the Cardinals Unified School District. Chandler.

It was held at Hamilton High School and six high schools participated: Hamilton, Chandler, Basha, Perry, Casteel, and Arizona College Prep.

The Cardinals, Nike and the NFL have teamed up to promote women’s flag football and help raise awareness of the initiative. Before the game in a packed weight room, the Cardinals presented a check to schools, which will go to their athletic departments to participate and increase access.

“I love being a part of the community,” Bidwill said. “Helping people is in my nature and has been part of my family’s history. We are very fortunate for our team and phenomenal fan base, so it’s very important for us to give back.”

Wearing a red jersey and white and red Air Jordan 1s fresh out of the box, Golden made the opening coin toss. He said it was his favorite moment of the event.

“It felt good when it first left my hands, but it started to spin a little bit when I released it in the air,” Golden said. “I got a couple of flips, so I’ll give myself at least a B.”

The event itself? Golden was giving him the highest marks possible.

“You always have to give credit to female athletes,” Golden said. “I coached flag football back then, so it felt good to be here supporting.”

There are no rules that say a girl can’t play when it comes to the NFL. While there are no female players in the NFL as of 2022, you’ll find plenty of female personnel on the sidelines. Not only that, but women are also joining the NFL as referees, which started in 2019 with Sarah Thomas.

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