BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Just weeks ago, for the first time in NFL history, three women were on the field in an official capacity during a regular season game.
There’s no doubt about it, women are making their presence known in the NFL and one of those women lives right here in Baltimore. She’s quickly making a name for herself.
You certainly know the names of NFL players and you’ve watched them shine on the field during games. But what you probably didn’t know is the woman backing them is quickly becoming a star of her own.
“I grew up loving sports, being a sports fanatic, grew up with two older half brothers,” said NFL agent
Samantha Sankovich. “Every Sunday, we were in the family room. I just grew to love the game.”
— Samantha Sankovich (@agent_sank) November 1, 2020
The local NFL agent grew up in the Baltimore area — a UMBC grad — she’s now repping some of the game’s best — at a time – when females – are making their statement in the league.
Rick Ritter: You are seeing females break into this industry more and more, which is awesome to see, with you coming in, was it intimidating in anyway?
Samantha Sankovich: Absolutely. But honestly if you’re good at your job, male or female, you’ll rise to your occasion, be respected and you’ll succeed. I would say the only thing that’s kind of an outlier is that we stand out a little more than the guys. Fun fact, there are about 800 NFL agents and only 34 are female and only 17 of us have active roster clients.
Sankovich has more than just active roster clients, she reps the versatile Kareem Hunt for the Cleveland Browns, up-and-coming James Robinson of the Jaguars, Baltimore’s own Adrian Amos of the Packers and Ravens special team ace Anthony Levine.
“I love them. I love them to the extent like they are extended family, even to the point where I prioritize them over myself and my own family, she said. “Seeing their talents translate on the field, oh is so exciting — it makes you excited and proud.”
Other women are also in the spotlight for the league.
It was just weeks ago, when a female coach was on each NFL sideline with a female official on the field when the Washington football team squared off against the Cleveland Browns. It was a historic day in the world of sports.
Ritter: What was it like to see that?
Sankovich: It’s super exciting to see some barriers being broken so to speak. It’s cool to see diversity within the league for sure and having trust within our gender that we’re able to do the same thing within the guys. We’re able to provide the same services, we’re able to have the same knowledge and I think that’s a big stereotype.
Ritter: Is this just the start? Do you think we’re only scratching the surface with more females becoming involved in the NFL and taking on larger roles?
Sankovich: Absolutely. Like you said you saw the coaches, you saw the refs, we have front office employees, females, making big decisions for teams, scouts all over the place, trying to find talent, myself and a handful of female agents. Wwe’re making our mark and we’re letting people know that females can do it too.
And for that little girl in Baltimore, who loves sports, and maybe wants to follow Sankovich’s path.
The Maryland native says shoot for the stars.
“Dream big and don’t take no for an answer,” she said. “You can do it just as well. You have to stay focused and work hard. It might take an extra hour or two, day or two, but be persistent, stay confident and if you love what you do and work hard at it, you’ll be great at it no matter which field.”