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It's on us: Buccaneers pick up bar tab to show support for female media, team employees and agents at NFL combine

Shalise Manza Young
Yahoo Sports Columnist

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers made history last season when they had two female coaches on staff: Lori Locust, who is the assistant defensive line coach, and Maral Javadifar, who is assistant strength and conditioning coach.

They were part of arguably the most diverse staff in NFL history, crafted by head coach Bruce Arians.

The organization isn’t just supporting female coaches.

‘Cool tidbit’

On Tuesday night, about 30 women in Indianapolis for the NFL combine, mostly media but also team employees and player reps, gathered for a second annual happy hour. It’s organized by Courtney Cronin, who covers the Vikings for ESPN.

On Tuesday night, the Buccaneers made a small gesture of support to 30 women attending the NFL combine. (Courtney Cronin/Twitter)

Sam Rapoport, who works for the NFL, tweeted that when the Buccaneers found out about the event, someone from the organization “quietly showed up to pick up the entire bar tab. This wasn’t part of a program or anything for which they’d get credit.

“They cited wanted to support women in [football] at every level possible.”

While the number of women who cover the NFL as media members, work for teams and represent players is slowly growing, they are still a minority. It’s nice to see the Buccaneers supporting them.

Small gesture

While Arians has made no secret of his determination to hire with no regard to race or gender — all three of his coordinators are black men, which is believed to be a first — he didn’t bring a new attitude to Tampa Bay.

Jenna Laine, who covers the team for ESPN, recalled a gesture from Darcie Glazer Kassewitz in a tweet on Wednesday morning.

“A few years ago [she] saw me shooting a standup outside on my own and invited me into her office,” Laine wrote. “I thought I was in trouble! She asked, ‘What can we do?’ I was stunned. I couldn’t believe the co-owner of the Buccaneers cared in such a way.”

Tampa Bay has been a participant in the Careers in Football Forum for women, which began at the Pro Bowl and is now held during combine week. This year’s event included a panel with Locust, Salli Clavelle, a 49ers scout, new Browns chief of staff Callie Brownson, and Jennifer King, Washington’s newest offensive assistant coach, discussing how they broke into the NFL.

Glazer Kassewitz is the head of Bucs’ foundation and the Glazer Family Foundation, as well as a team co-owner. She is the daughter of Malcolm Glazer, who bought the team in 1995 and died in 2014.

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