Carli Lloyd: Viral Video of FG Kick Could Be a 'Pioneering Moment for Women'

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistAugust 26, 2019

Baltimore Ravens' Sam Koch holds the ball for United States soccer player Carli Lloyd as she attempts to kick a field goal after the Philadelphia Eagles and the Baltimore Ravens held a joint NFL football practice in Philadelphia, Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Matt Rourke/Associated Press

Carli Lloyd is a two-time World Cup winner and one of the greatest players in the history of women's soccer, so it was no surprise that she booted through a few field goals when she attended a Philadelphia Eagles practice.

But when she made a 55-yarder, people took notice, and the moment went viral. 

U.S. Soccer WNT @USWNT

.@CarliLloyd from distance. 🚀 Love to see it. https://t.co/FW8iZlzGCG

Lloyd told Peter King of Pro Football Talk that she was surprised by the reaction but felt it could be an important moment for women in sports:

"The texts, the videos, everything going viral. I had no idea. It was insane. It still is insane. I could not believe the attention on social media. I just had a conversation with Randy [Brown], actually. The coaches and his GM, they all saw the video. They were like, 'What is she doing next week?' I'm laughing about it, but the more I think about it, this has the chance to be sort of a pioneering moment for women."

Lloyd told King she believes she could make an NFL team as a kicker if she ever decided to go for it.

"I know that I could actually probably do it" she said. "Put on the helmet, strap on the pads, go for it. The mindset I have, I think with practice, I know I have to work on my steps and my technique, but I think I could do it and do it well. It could be a huge pivotal moment. There is no reason why a woman could not do this."

She continued:

"It’s worth having some conversations about it. With practice and someone showing me, I know I can do it. I have one of the most accurate shots in our game. Big thing would be getting used to the big boys out there. But nothing scares me. You hold yourself back if you’re afraid. What’s the worst that can happen? I don’t make the team? Let’s just say I did try. Maybe I change the landscape a lot."

She also believes a woman making an NFL team would be an inspiration to young female athletes.

"Oh, that would be massive. Pretty massive," she said. "If I was a little girl watching and I saw an NFL kicker that was a female, that would be cool."

A number of women are attempting to make their mark in football. Becca Longa, a kicker from Adams State, received a partial scholarship with the program, becoming one of the first women to be under scholarship for football.

Toni Harris, a safety, became the first position player to sign a national letter of intent in February:

espnW @espnW

Here 👏 for 👏 this 👏 https://t.co/Aez92GvHOG

And a number of NFL teams have women as assistant coaches. Maral Javadifar (assistant strength and conditioning coach) and Lori Locust (assistant defensive line coach) were both hired by Bruce Arians for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Ten women either served as coaches or coaching interns during the 2018 season.

For the entirety of its history, the NFL has been a boys club. But that is a trend that is slowly starting to change, and Lloyd nailing 55-yard field goals with ease is another reminder of the shifting tides.