-Released Tuesday, the latest episode of Sam Rapoport's Earnin' It podcast features some prominent voices in the Buccaneers organization speaking on the efforts of the organization to push the league forward in their diversity and inclusion efforts, of which the Bucs themselves are no strangers to. When they won Super Bowl LV last season, they made history not only as the first team to win a Super Bowl at home, but they were also the first team to win with female coaches on their staff. That's the result of a trickle-down effect, with Buccaneers Co-Owner Darcie Glazer Kassewitz spearheading diversity and inclusion efforts throughout the organization.
"We spent a lot of time thinking about what we can do for women in this space," Glazer Kassewitz told the NFL's Sam Rapoport, who is the Senior Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for the league. "There's so many female fans who want to follow their passion football into a career in the NFL."
As a result, the Bucs have done things like start the Women's Summit for Careers in Football, in which they borrow from the model Rapoport herself started at the NFL Combine to foster connections for women in the coaching and scouting side of football. The Bucs also started the Girls Preseason Classic, which is the largest girls high school flag football tournament in the nation with over 50 teams and 1,000 students participating annually.
"We think it's really important to support and validate these female athletes to show them that we believe in them and the sport is for them," said Glazer Kassewitz.
View photos of the Girls Flag Football Preseason Classic.
Rapoport also spoke with both Head Coach Bruce Arians and Assistant Defensive Line Coach Lori Locust in the nearly hour-long podcast episode. They talked at length about hiring practices and what it will take to get more women in football roles.
"Don't worry about male or female; is this the best person for this job that I'm to have open right now?" Arians said. "And you're going to get the best person every single time that you just have open ears and open eyes, right?"
"I think it's a very exciting time right now," said Glazer Kassewitz. "I think that a lot of more women are being hired as coaches or scouts and different aspects of football. So, there is progress being made. And as time goes on, there will be more women in the NFL. Women are not competing against other women for these jobs. Like Bruce says, to work in the NFL is a phenomenal opportunity. You're competing against the world. You have to be at the top."
The podcast episode also features Billie Jean King and Buffalo Bills Head Coach Sean McDermott along with Owner Kim Pegula. Earnin' It features the stories of women in the NFL who are breaking "grass" ceilings, from the field to the front office. It is hosted by Rapoport and produced by both her and Jane Skinner Goodell, wife to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. To listen to the full episode, click here.
-The Buccaneers had quite a few updates Wednesday when they opened practice for the week ahead of their Sunday matchup with the Indianapolis Colts. A total of 11 players appeared on the first injury report of the week after the Bucs held a walk-through practice. Among those not participating were wide receiver Mike Evans and inside linebacker Devin White.
But the good news is, the defense seems to be returning to form. The team announced Wednesday that they have designated cornerback Carlton Davis to return from injured reserve. He'll have a 21-day window beginning Wednesday to be activated.
"Getting Sean [Murphy-Bunting] back was huge," said Arians. "Carlton [Davis] started [practicing] – we activated him today. I doubt he'll be ready to play; he needs to get some volume work. Whoever is [playing] – 'Nacho' (Rakeem Nunez-Roches), Stevie [McLendon] did a hell of a job stepping in for Vita. We've played without Devin [White]. If Devin can't play, Kevin [Minter] will step in and do a hell of a job. But yeah, I see our defense getting their swagger back."
Vea is expected to be back this weekend and after playing 98% of the team's defensive snaps in his first game since Week One, it looks like Murphy-Bunting is back to stay.
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