Jennifer King on Historic NFL Job with WFT: 'Representation Means so Much'

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJanuary 27, 2021

Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive line coach Lori Locust and Washington Football Team coaching intern Jennifer King in action before an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021 in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Daniel Kucin Jr.)
Daniel Kucin Jr./Associated Press

Jennifer King spent parts of the last three seasons working as a coaching intern for the Carolina Panthers and Washington Football Team under head coach Ron Rivera. On Tuesday, she was officially announced as the full-time assistant running backs coach for Washington.

King spoke about the promotion and what it means NFL's first Black woman to hold an assistant coaching position.

"Representation means so much," she told John Keim of ESPN. "It's really important right now to be a good representative, what I didn't have growing up. I didn't have anyone that looked anything like me working. To be able to see that, I think, is big. It's super cool to be a part of this."

King's hiring is an important step forward given the dearth of female coaches and the disproportionate number of white coaches and front-office executives. 

"It's so important to open the entire pool of applicants when you have a position," she said. "So far historically in football, it's only 50 percent of the people; no women were considered. For future female coaches coming up, this gives them a foot in the door. It's up to us to do a good job."