NFL Women's Summit celebrates female leaders, inspires next generation

- The NFL and the Super Bowl Host Committee organized a special summit ahead of the Super Bowl, bringing together current and future female leaders to inspire young women.

Three hundred women, Twin Cities college and graduate students, were invited into the Pantages Theater in Minneapolis for a few hours of NFL inspiration.

“People will tell you no, people will push you to a different direction, but it’s your direction and it’s your path,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

The NFL, he says, can only improve by growing its diversity.

“We have officials on the field, we have people in our football operations that are playing leadership roles who are women,” said Goodell. “All of that has made the NFL better.”

This is the third year for what the NFL calls “In the Huddle” which in part, highlights women who have excelled at sports in competition, executive roles and broadcasting.

 “I’m not going to think of myself as a woman in a man’s world because first of all it isn’t a man’s world, people, it’s our world,” said Michele Tafoya, an NBC sideline reporter. “We made you.”

Tafoya, a Minnesota native, chatted with the first woman to do NFL play-by-play Beth Mowins, who quoted Mark Twain.

“He once said, ‘20 years down the road, you will be much more disappointed by what you didn’t do than what you did do,’” said Mowins.

Fox 9’s general manager also took part in the panel and sat alongside former Gopher and current Lynx player Lindsay Whalen, who both sit on the Vikings Women Advisory Board.

“I love sports,” said Oliver. “I incorporate it all the time in my job because with sports there’s winning, there’s measurement. You have fans, for us it’s viewers.”

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