Question & Answer

Is it hard being a woman working in the NFL?

I always respond this way: it is hard for ANYONE to get into this business! Male, female, black, white…doesn’t matter.  NFL agency is a fiercely competitive industry. However, it is all too common for people to state – often to my face – that women should not be representing NFL players.  They say women could not possibly represent NFL players effectively because they never played football. Or they are too emotional. Or they are not skilled negotiators. NONE of those are true.  Granted, I’ve never played football. But neither have many of my colleagues. And there is significant evidence to contradict the other negative assertions about women in the industry. Can you imagine people being told in any industry “We aren’t interested in considering you for this position because you are black/hispanic/muslim/etc.”? But somehow it is acceptable to say this to a woman?  This type of discrimination is part of life for most women who work in sports business, particularly in football. But it is not right. At the same time, I realize exactly what I am up against, therefore I understand the challenge. I must prove that I am not only capable of handling the duties of an NFL agent, but I am capable of doing so with excellence that exceeds the ability of my competitors.

I actually wrote an Op-Ed on this particular topic, and it was picked up by Fox News, albeit with an unfortunate headline attached.

Kelli Masters

Recognized as one of the most influential women in sports business, Kelli Masters often hears, "You have a DREAM JOB." But she chooses to inspire others not with her successes, but with her vulnerability, sharing not only the victories but also the battles and failures along the way. Kelli is an attorney, an NFL sports agent and Founder and President of KMM Sports, a full-service sports management company with offices in New York, Los Angeles and her hometown of Oklahoma City.
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