Jordan Braatz is Changing Gender Roles in “Men’s” Sports


Rena Turner

Braatz (85), practicing before the Dakota Ridge game, in the middle of a kickoff.

Madisyn Barnes

When looking at sports such as football, hockey, basketball, and many others, we see predominantly men, especially in professional leagues such as the National Hockey League (NHL), the National Football League (NFL), and the National Basketball Association (NBA).

For years, society has been conditioned to believe that sports such as those listed above, are created specifically for men, when in fact women can play just as well. 

Jordan Braatz, a 17-year-old female high school student of Dakota Ridge High School is the only girl on the high school football team. Braatz is changing the ideas of gender roles and defying the stereotypes of women in “men’s” sports.

Braatz (85), during her first game of the season, about to kickoff. (Rena Turner)

Braatz decided to join the team after not being able to do marching band due to covid. Because of this, she became a water girl.

“I was like, oh, I’ll be a water girl, and then I got really bored doing that, and then I was like, I’ll try being on the team, cause I thought it looked fun,” Braatz said.

Although Braatz enjoys being on the team, there are some things she has to do differently as a girl. 

 Braatz says that she has to wear her game pants and other parts of the uniform to the game while the others get to change in the locker room. 

“There isn’t a separate locker room for me at the games, and I’m not gonna change in front of the guys,” Braatz said. 

Braatz claims that, for the most part, she is used to being treated differently than the boys in high school football. In fact, she enjoys the reaction she gets from the others after the game. 

“I can always tell when the guys on the other team realize I’m a girl, they’re all, like, super shocked, and it’s funny to see their initial reaction,” Braatz says. 

Even though she may be treated differently by others from other high schools, she says that she is treated as fairly as the other boys by her coaches and teammates, and it doesn’t make a difference with her being a girl on the team. 

Braatz has achieved many things this season, including kicking a 35-yard kickoff. But despite that, she has achieved way more in the world for women wanting to join men’s sports. 

Braatz can be seen as a role model for those who are too scared to join and is helping to stop gender roles in sports.