DeKalb, IL — Sam Gordon has been defying the odds with her football skills since she was 9-years-old, however, she hasn’t always felt welcome on the field.
To change that for other female players, she went to court.
The now 17-year-old sued her school district and two others for refusing to create a girl’s football program under Title IX stating that many girls don’t feel comfortable playing with boys and some are even harassed.
Gordon knows what it feels like since she’s the only girl in a tackle football league in Utah.
“I had a target on my back, and it was in the shape of a ponytail,” said Gordon, according to Yahoo. “It was awesome to prove to them that I’m more than just a girl in pads. I’m actually a football player.”
The school district argues that a girl’s football program would be unsustainable and requires new infrastructure they shouldn’t be responsible for.
Gordon said that even if she doesn’t win the lawsuit, it’ll still be worth it for the girls who follow in her footsteps.
“For them to get the opportunity to go and play and to ... destigmatize girls playing contact sports and being tough and rowdy,” she said. “It’s more than just football, and I would be proud to be a part of that.”