I was surfing through some sports channels on TV and came across a very inspiring interview on Tara Sloane’s show, Top of [Her] Game, on SportsNet.
Tara’s guest was Samantha Rapoport and man was she smart and impressive. I learned a lot and I loved it.
On Tara’s show, they talk about how Sam’s love of football, as a young girl, blossomed into a 20 year career with the NFL.
Now, Sam Rapoport is the NFL’s Senior Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. As Director of Football Development, she was hired by the NFL to bring more women to the operational side of the league. This means more women working as coaches, scouts and officials. And this is happening.
Imagine a 20 year career in the NFL, now at a Director’s level, for a Canadian woman. That is quite an accomplishment by any standard.
Rapoport began playing flag football at the age of 12. As she told Tara, she had played many other sports. But, with football, she found a sport she was very good at.
And her passion grew.
After playing intramural flag football at McGill University, she was accidentally scouted and offered a tryout for the Montreal Blitz (a women’s tackle team). In her first year, she became captain of the team and starting quarterback.
There are many interesting stories from Sam’s interview with Tara.
For example, in 2003 she applied for a marketing internship with the NFL. With her resumé, she sent a football with the following message written on it.
“What other quarterback could accurately deliver a football 386 miles?”.
This was the distance from McGill University in Montreal to New York City, where she wanted to start her work with the NFL. She has been there for 20 years now.
Here is the video of this episode from Tara Sloane’s show on SportsNet. You can see for yourself that Sam Rapoport has a lot of energy, great ideas and is a force to be reckoned with.
I won’t spoil it for you, but Sam describes in this interview how she deals with those who resist her ideas and the need for progress. Enjoy!
Until next time.