Katie Sowers becomes first out gay NFL coach in history

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An assistant coach at the San Francisco 49ers who is only the second full-time female coach, is also the first openly gay coach in history.

Katie Sowers joined the 49ers as an assistant earlier this month.

She spoke to OutSports on Tuesday to discuss the role and being openly gay.

Speaking to Jim Buzinski, she said: “No matter what you do in life, one of the most important things is to be true to who you are.

Katie Sowers and her partner Sheila

“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.”

A retired NFL player who came out as gay earlier this year has said “life is great now”.

Ryan O’Callaghan came out as gay back in June.

He was drafted to the New England Patriots in 2006, and has also played for the Kansas City Chiefs.

There has only been one openly gay player in NFL history – St Louis Rams player Michael Sam.

Sam did not have a glittering career and was later cut from the team amid immense media scrutiny.

He then had brief spells with the Dallas Cowboys and Canadian Football League’s Montreal Alouettes, but eventually crashed out of the sport citing mental health issues.

O’Callaghan is hoping that his own openness will convince others that they can come out in the sport.

He said:  “I think teams are ready. Guys just have to understand, he’s gay, but that doesn’t mean he wants to date you, he just wants to be your teammate. It’s not a big deal. It’s really not.

“I hope that me coming out will lead to someone else much higher profile coming out. Coming out’s not the end of the world… it will be okay. I’m having a great time, I love life now.”