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Kansas City Glory inspires women, girls to play football

Kansas City Glory
Posted at 9:52 AM, Apr 21, 2023

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Kansas City Glory is an all-women's football team with a mission of empowering women and girls through the game of football.

"We are a bad 'mamma jamma' team," head coach KeKe Blackmon said.

Since the team formed in 2019, Blackmon says the team has encouraged women to be confident "they can do anything that the people say is impossible."

Before each practice, all 60 players on the roster suit up.

"We put on the whole armor. We put on helmets, shoulder pads, knee pads, thigh pads — anything that's going make us feel comfortable out there, we put it all on," Blackmon said. "We're actually going out there and we're playing just like the men do, we're NCAA rules."

Blackmon says KC Glory has "a lot of flavor" with players hailing from Brazil, Australia, Detroit, Texas and Oklahoma.

"I play in a men's league in Australia 'cause we don't have a women's team," said Australian native Kelly Whitehead, who plays at linebacker. "I didn't know anyone coming here when I moved, so this is my family now. We live and breathe football, which is cool. This is a sisterhood."

For safety Kassidy Snowden, it's a game she's enjoyed since she was a kid.

"I grew up with all boys, so football is just what we did," Snowden said. "It was either you be outside and play with them or you be stuck inside, and for me, it's just fun.

Snowden says her favorite part of the game is hitting.

"I like being the one to hit, that's why I'm on defense," she said. "I don't like running, but it's a part of the game."

In less than a week, the stage will be set for the NFL Draft in Kansas City, an event Blackmon is excited to see up close.

"These young men, their smiles are going to be bright. It's going to be exciting to see young men thrive in a way that they dreamed of their whole life," Blackmon said. "Hopefully it'll bring some light to the Kansas City Glory by way of seeing where we can be, where we're going, see that light.

"And we're just as good, just as talented to be able to be on that stage too, and to let us know we belong here more than anything."

Whitehead's experience playing in a men's league back home has helped her overcome the naysayers.

"I definitely understand that people say it's a men's sport, but I just say when you get your chance to take it on the field, show them what you mean," Whitehead said. "Show them what you're all about, take it on the field and speak on the field."

KC Glory hopes their actions will speak louder than words in their efforts to inspire the next generation.

"Hopefully it inspires them in a way that they can't shake it, they dream about it and not only dream about it but they know that it's there, they know that it's here," Blackmon said.

The Kansas City Glory will play a home game, at Shawnee Mission North High School, against the Denver Bandits at 6 p.m. Saturday, April 22.

Tickets are $14 in advance and $20 in person. Children four years old and younger get in free.

The special "Legends Game" will honor local women's football legends of the past, present and future, including national champions and gold medal winners of the IFAF International Tournament.

During halftime, a team from the Girls Play Flag Football League will host a scrimmage as part of the Glory's belief that "if you can see it, you can believe it."