Female Professional Football Player Earns Respect After Taking Huge Hits

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistFebruary 17, 2014

via @louisojedajr on Instagram

Jennifer Welter made some history on Saturday when she took the field for the Texas Revolution against the North Texas Crunch, but she did more than just show up. She earned the respect of everyone on the field after showing she could take some big hits.

The 36-year-old became the first female to ever play a non-kicker or placekick-holder to play in a men's professional football game. Welter, who got ready with the cheerleaders, saw some time on the field during a preseason game in the Indoor Football League.

The 5'2", 130-pound running back was involved in some pretty big hits on her three carries:

Talk about ball security. Not only did she take the hits, but she managed to hold on to the football each time.

Welter was ready to go at it again after the first hit—delivered by the 6'4", 245-pound defensive lineman Cedric Hearvey. The Dallas Morning News' Brad Townsend was able to get some quotes from the Welter:

“I said, ‘Is that all you got?’ " Welter said she told Hearvey after the first of her three carries. “They (Crunch players) were getting all alive, and I had to say something. I didn’t want them to think I was intimidated.”

Hearvey also shared his thoughts on his opponent:

Honestly, it was very weird. Part of me wanted to let her score, but part of me had a job. So I was like, 'Can y’all please take her out?'

Honestly, I really have a lot of respect for that lady over there.

Welter didn't back down from the hits, and she managed to earn the respect of her opponent.

The Revolution came away with a 64-30 victory.

[Instagram, h/t UPROXX's Kissing Suzy Kolber]