Saturday afternoon, Vanderbilt goalkeeper Sarah Fuller made history against Missouri by becoming the first woman to play in a Power 5 game. She started the second half of the game by using a squib kick to bounce the ball down the field. The Tigers recovered at the 35-yard line while she headed off the field.
When Fuller headed to the field for the kickoff with the "Play Like A Girl" message on her helmet, there were multiple hate-filled and gross responses on Twitter. While some applauded her and Vanderbilt alike for the major moment, others said that the Nashville-based football team was only "virtue signaling" on Saturday and that she was a "Make A Wish" kid. Those that criticized Fuller and Vanderbilt for the kickoff sparked another line of comments. Many people came to her defense and said that major changes needed to take place in 2020. Even Washington Football Team head coach Ron Rivera weighed in and said that Fuller had perfect execution on the kickoff.
The responses to Sarah Fuller's kickoff are as disappointing as you'd expect. Not only do they reveal some intense misogyny but a complete lack of understanding what a squib kick is along with how and why it's done— Jessie Terry (@JessieLTerry) November 28, 2020
Stoked for Vandy's Sarah Fuller today. But also stoked for the day when it's not even news for women to play football with all the little boys and their testosterone and their patriarchy and their dumb misogyny. #HumanityFirst— Matt Villano (@mattvillano) November 28, 2020
Thought the Sarah Fuller story (1st woman to compete in pwr 5 football game) was exciting and inspiring. But I made the mistake of following the story on Twitter. The dark hole of misogyny was ugly.
We need to disciple men toward security...and teach them more about football.— Brad Raby (@bradraby) November 29, 2020
Fragile masculinity abounds on @SportsCenter story that Sarah Fuller is Vanderbilt’s place kicker this w/end.— Bec Aichholzer (she/her) (@bextabooo) November 28, 2020
Sarah will be wearing ‘Play Like a Girl’ on the back of her helmet. @iplaylikeagirl is nonprofit encouraging girls to play sports & discover STEM.
DO BETTER MEN. #yylam pic.twitter.com/9RnqT5rbcO
This is not directed at the countless amount of men I have seen just as excited as us to watch this moment in real time.
So thank you. Keep helping us pave the path.— Brooke Meenachan (@BrookeMeenachan) November 28, 2020
Cannot even begin to imagine the amount of harassment and disrespect that Sarah Fuller will experience in this position. She’s strong as hell for going through with it. This is 2020, folks. Do better. #PlayLikeAGirl #womenballtoo— Audrey Fowler (@_AudreyFaith_) November 28, 2020
the comments on Vanderbilts posts about Sarah Fuller are so gross. this literally proves how little respect women get no matter what they accomplish. do better, people.— abbey 🌶 (@abbeysimmonsss) November 29, 2020
caller to a sports radio show: what do you think of Sarah Fuller? I mean were special rules in case of a fumble or something where you couldn’t tackle/hit her or something?— Ryan Hallam (@fightingchance) November 29, 2020
1. Pretty sure she was prepared to be hit
2. Yeah those male kickers are real tough guys on the field pic.twitter.com/bGZjMgBuEB
men were scared of sarah fuller having to take a tackle, but then when she does the one thing (planned thing, i might add) that makes it literally impossible for her to get tackled, it’s not good enough. THIS is why women fight to be taken seriously. it’s never enough.— emily shiroff (@emilyjordannnnn) November 28, 2020
Very cool watching Sarah Fuller make history and everyone on the TL rightly congratulate her and are obviously now going to go watch their local womens tackle football team next spring since you're so into women playing football!— seth galina (@pff_seth) November 28, 2020
Sports figures all over were rooting for Sarah Fuller on her historic day 🙌 pic.twitter.com/KXCQujBFGe— ESPN (@espn) November 28, 2020
Word of the day: SquibNovember 28, 2020
before you fire off that sarah fuller tweet remember: you don’t need a take on everything— charles (#1 PS5 defeatist) mcdonald (@FourVerts) November 28, 2020
The Broncos are gonna play a non-QB at QB. He will at some point complete a short pass, and all the same people who were dumping on Sarah Fuller for a squib kick will suddenly think it's AMAZING that someone who doesn't play a position (much less a sport) can do so much https://t.co/ebYECu3j3H— Alex Kirshner (@alex_kirshner) November 29, 2020
If you can’t look at the smile on Sarah Fuller’s face and feel anything but happiness, you’re doing it all wrong. pic.twitter.com/vcbQTH9iDV— John Ellis (@OnePantherPlace) November 28, 2020