First and Ten

She just wanted to play…

Have you ever been told you can’t do something because you’re a girl? In 1977 ten-year-old Suzanne Fiske is told she’s not allowed to play in the Santa Barbara Youth Football League. She tackles the Federal District Court, scores a touchdown for girls Nationwide, and changes youth football forever. In this inspirational true story, Taylor Atelian (“According to Jim”, ABC) delivers a touching performance as Suzanne Fiske.

Based on a true story, ten-year-old Suzanne Fiske was denied the chance to play in the Santa Barbara Youth Football League in 1977. The YFL claimed it would be unsafe for her to play. Suzanne’s parents Haley and Mary Fiske supported her decision and sued the YFL for the right to play. For two years, Suzanne, her mother and lawyer Clare Conk fought the YFL in Federal District Court. Threatened with the loss of federal funding, the YFL conceded. Her Fight was not over when she began to play as the Nation’s first female YFL player in 1979. She was ostracized by coaches, other teams and Santa Barbara community members. She was often voted MVP, but left the YFL after two years due to the media pressure. She returned to the field at 35 to play in the Women’s Professional Football League.