Making HERstory

Sarah Fuller is the first  ever woman to play in a Power 5 football game.

Photo courtesy of the Vanderbilt University Football Roster

Sarah Fuller is the first ever woman to play in a Power 5 football game.

Shaina Bond, Contributor

Sarah Fuller, a senior at Vanderbilt University, has recently made history as being the first ever woman to play in a Power 5 football game. Fuller, the women’s soccer team goalie, was recruited by Vanderbilt’s football team to be the place kicker due to a shortage of players from COVID-19.


The back of Fuller’s helmet says “Play Like a Girl,” a message she wants to spread to every girl to inspire them to play hard and as themselves. 


Fuller told the SEC Network, “You can do anything you set your mind too, you really can. And if you have the mentality all the way through, you can do big things.” 


Since making her debut on November 28 against the University of Missouri, Fuller is viewed as an “inspiration” to girls across the country, and a prominent figure in creating gender equality among sports.


Fuller’s historic moment is groundbreaking and a significant step towards the equality many women and young girls seek today. But many question why a woman is allowed to play what some consider a “man’s” sport? Understandably, football is a contact sport and men, generally having more muscle mass and a wider build, are more biologically suited for the sport. On the contrary, women are said to be better at long distance running due to biologically having a stronger endurance. That being said, both men and women have different strengths, and these strengths lead them to be better at different sports. However, these differences should not control whether one pursues their passion or love for the sport. Gymnastics, dance, and cheerleading are three sports dominated by women, yet men are allowed to participate and strive. Why is that? Why can men participate in a “woman’s” sport, yet women must fight to play with men? 


Society has altered our point of views on equality, and this battle of equal treatment will continue to brew. There is no singular solution to keep competition fair and players safe, but the 21st century is a progressive time. It is a time for more women to break the status quo and create HERstory. Sarah Fuller may be one of the first to break this boundary, but she will definitely not be the last.