Girl Power: Vikings could break the glass ceiling in sports with GM

Catherine Raiche

Ownership of the Minnesota Vikings promised earlier this week that a wide net would be cast for the franchise’s vacant general manager job.

They weren’t kidding.

After longtime executive Rick Spielman’s termination from the GM job, Minnesota is suddenly in need of a new boss, or boss. Ms.

News broke Wednesday that the Vikings would interview Catherine Raiche for the job.

Raiche, 32, is from the Philadelphia Eagles front office and holds the title of vice president of football operations. She accepted the job last May. And before that, Raiche was the Operations Coordinator for the Eagles from 2019 to 2021. Raiche is a Canadian attorney and has a master’s degree in taxation. Consider her qualified.

Interviewing the Vikings, or any NFL team, is a glass-ceiling moment for Raiche and the world. In 1983, Susan Tose Spencer (also with the Eagles) became the first general manager in the NFL. It’s unclear if she formally interviewed for the position nearly 40 years ago (she was the owner’s daughter), so Raiche’s conversation with Mark and Zygi Wilf could be the first of its kind. That’s a big deal: for sport, progressivism, society, and common decency.

Catherine Raiche

Furthermore, for Vikings, the inclusive attitude is a drastic but refreshing response from an organization criticized for nepotism in recent years. Minnesota’s two main coordinators in 2021, Adam Zimmer and Klint Kubiak, were the sons of existing Vikings coaches. The NFL’s reputation as a “good guys” club where sons of men circulate in the industry is widespread, so the inclusion of a woman like Raiche, simply for the sake of conversation, is a paradigm shift. Part of the process for potential general managers and head coaches is to “get into the mix” through an interview. Even if the Vikings don’t sign Raiche or someone else, at least that person is gaining ground, setting him up for a job the next time the candidates are polled.

Raiche’s interview optics, plus a plethora of colorful young candidates on the Vikings’ interview roster, is a bold step in the right direction. The NFL is an incredibly diverse place, especially on the field, so the idea of ​​front offices being predominantly one color and one gender is weird and doesn’t reflect the general population of the United States. Talking to Raiche and men like Kwesi Adofo-Mensah (who will also meet with the Wilfs) is the shots moment in deconstructing long-standing nepotism and non-diverse trends in NFL front offices.

Ultimately, the Vikings will pick the right man or woman for the job, a person who can create a winning roster, but at least not all candidates will be created equal. It’s time.

102 years into this NFL thing, and people are realizing that women are capable of executive-level jobs. Glass ceilings will crack.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh Y Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking hobby dates back to 1996. He listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos’ and The Doors (the band).

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