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First & 10 SFU Looking To Score

Friday we published part one of the letter that was sent out from the Assembly of Moms of Athletes in Support of SFU Football and we have received various comments, but everyone was looking forward to part two of the letter.

Enjoy the read:

For some SFU football players, the only reason for their positive experience was wrapped up in their connection with the football program. 

Equally important is the opportunity that football has provided and continues to provide for athletes who are being raised by single mothers. 

We appreciate and value that every family dynamic is different and unique. We respect and believe that strong women raise strong men and women. 

We also recognize that there is benefit for players who do not have healthy male role models in their life and we have been incredibly thankful for the coaches at SFU who have taken this privilege seriously. Inclusivity and Diversity in Football One of the most amazing aspects of football is how inclusive it is by nature. 

With so many players working at different positions, there is a need for all kinds of athletes. 

Players who are big, strong, small, agile, etc., there is a place for everyone. More than that, every kind of personality fits: introverts, extroverts, loud, verbal leaders, quiet leaders who prefer showing over saying, and all types in between. 

Football is a place to be accepted regardless of your race, social-economic status, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, or gender. As moms to a diverse group of players, we are grateful that our children have found a place that accepts them for who they are without question. 

As an institution that claims to believe in building better practices connected to equity, diversity, and inclusion, we believe that removing an opportunity to play football for these players goes against SFU’s core values and priorities. 

Football is helping us raise socially conscientious children, creating bonds with other players with whom they may never have had the opportunity before. 

Shifting the Narrative in Connection to Gender and Football As women, specifically as moms of SFU players, we have felt an immense privilege to witness SFU football make history with the addition of the first female player, Kristie Elliot. 

We acknowledge and support the shifting narrative around gender and football. We are proud to have raised young men who are supporting the development of greater opportunities for women in sport.

Given the rapidly changing landscape of women in football and the barriers that are being removed, SFU football finds itself in good company. 

The Canadian Football League (CFL) has made a concerted effort to ensure space for female staff on every CFL team. 

In the National Football League (NFL), Catherine Raiche who is Canadian, has earned the title of GM for the Browns. Across both leagues, women are earning and choosing roles as coaches, front office staff, and referees. 

At the 2023 NFL draft, airing April 27 we saw young men and young women side by side receiving support and recognition as football players.

Not to be outdone, sports media is also clearing space to embrace the impressive talent of female analysts including budding stars like Mina Kimes. Football joins many other sports striving to be diverse and inclusive. 

While we are not well-versed about the implications of the U.S. 

Title IX law and SFU’s obligation to it as an NCAA Division II school, we believe in the spirit of the law to provide equitable access for both male and female athletes. 

Having acknowledged that, we challenge you, the SFU administration and leadership to revisit your understanding of what that means for the SFU athletics program. 

As a university who wants to “break barriers, reduce biases, and create systems that promote student success, improve campus vibrancy, and create space for everyone to do their best work”, we see the act of dismantling the football team to be a contradiction to SFU’s “What’s Next” plan.

Furthermore, the same document says, “we will reinforce our role as the university for B.C., using our capacity for social and economic change to strengthen the province and connect the world with B.C.”

Given the fact that women in Canada are being given opportunity and space to embrace the sport of football, why would you, as leaders, not want to be at the forefront of this endeavor as a way of honouring your strategic plan?

Instead of cutting opportunities for young men, this university could be a model for developing and promoting equitable opportunities for both. 

The football coaches have opened the door to this by inviting a female athlete to be an integral part of their team over the last four years. 

In doing so, not only have they made SFU a more appealing option for students, they have brought attention to efforts to make football a sport for both men and women alike. 

The players, by way of their support and encouragement of Kristie, have demonstrated the kind of character we believe was instilled in them through their time on the football field. 

By dismantling the football team you are doing a disservice to both young men and young women. 

You are removing opportunities for young men who are demonstrating greatness both on and off the field and you are taking away any potential opportunity for other young women, like Kristie, who may choose to pursue a collegiate level football career. 

Looking Forward As moms to SFU football players, we are proud of our team. 

We knew, and our players knew, what they faced coming to a school whose win-loss record indicated work to be done. We have watched as coaches, players, and football staff have struggled against adversity. 

They have carried their helmets off the field after a hard fought loss and rallied to return time and again. We are proud that these student-athletes are able to gain a world-class education while “repping the leaf” across the border. 

We are proud of the young people they are and how they have carried their heads high and with class, despite being told they no longer have a place. 

Exciting BC Lions Game Action
Photo Credit Mark Steffens

It is unfortunate that the leadership team at Simon Fraser have not demonstrated transparency or consultation to prove that the perspective of our sons or that of the coaches were ever considered. 

We believe that such an important decision should have been made with a collaborative effort, where all stakeholders were given a fair opportunity to express their thoughts and concerns from their lived experience. 

We are calling on the administration and leadership to recognize the valuable opportunity they have to validate a group of student-athletes who want nothing more than the opportunity to pursue their dreams at Simon Fraser University. 

We request that you reinstate the football program effective immediately with the full backing of both the academic and athletic leadership. 

While this letter addresses the specific situation connected to SFU football, we are all moms of athletes regardless of the sport that’s played. We believe that ALL moms can appreciate and understand the concerns we have for the way our children are being treated. 

We are asking that any mom of an athlete add their voice to ours and sign to show their support.

Feel free to send you question or comments over to


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