Courageous Leader, Inspiring Woman, and Formidable Footballer
Series Created by Sarah Wolfer – Seattle Majestics Player
The Seattle Majestics Football team launched a series on March 8th to highlight the many impressive women who make up the team. The Seattle Majestics players and coaches come from all walks of life with varying backgrounds and experiences who are unified by one common goal – Winning the IX Cup in Denver, Colorado this summer.
This #FootballFriday we are happy to recognize a true competitor both on AND off the football field. With an incredible story of resilience and overcoming adversity, #22 Kase Tukutau has shown the world time and again how to be a role-model and #BarrierBreaker for little girls everywhere. As one of the few women on the team who played football in her childhood, Kase knows how to make the rest of the conference tremble at the thought of lining up against her. As a multi-sport athlete growing up, Kase brings a ton of strengths to the field. In addition to her ferocity and determination, Kase possesses a special kind of leadership that has helped her become the captain that the Majestics need to go all the way to the Championship game next month. With her inspiring half-time speeches, her dominance on the field, and her mental fortitude, Kase is an all-star athlete and woman in this world. Kase truly embodies what being a Lion (our mascot) for the Majestics means. She protects our quarterback (and the rest of the team) from attackers, she is always on the hunt, and she is known for her tremendous leadership – just like lions in the wild. Don’t miss her story here!
Tell us about yourself and your journey to become a tackle football player with the Seattle Majestics. How did you get started playing football?
I was born and raised in Tacoma WA and I am a construction worker. I’m the 5th of 6 kids and growing up I was always competitive and eager to go out and excel in sports. In 2nd grade I picked up a basketball and would dribble all day everyday until I was crossing over between the legs and behind my back and I still remember always playing against the boys.
In 7th grade I tried out for my school’s flag football team and it has stuck with me since then. Then my freshman year I tried out for my high school football team and ended up playing all 4 years as the only girl on the team.
I am often asked if I was scared and truthfully, yes, I was terrified.
However, I learned that I was more afraid of quitting and continued to play for the remainder of my time in high school.
Flash forward to 2013 when I was playing for the Kansas State Women’s Rugby team and loved it. Unfortunately my cousin was shot and killed and that event changed my mind about being far away from home. As such, I moved back to the Pacific Northwest and a friend at the time said I should come check out the Seattle Majestics. It wasn’t until 2014 that I’d suit up and play for the Majestics but from that moment on, my life with this team was changed for the better.
Why the Seattle Majestics and the WNFC?
The Majestics are my family.
They have been there for me and helped me battle through some tough times in life and probably don’t even know it. This team and being able to play football gave me purpose and reason to keep going in my everyday life.
As for the WNFC, it has been one of those things where “you have to be the change you want to see.” When I heard this league was starting up I was a bit skeptical due to it being so new, but in order to know what to invest in you have to be willing to try it out first. I was initially drawn to the professionalism of this league and what it had to offer and have been impressed with what I have seen so far. I appreciate that the WNFC wants to give better opportunities to women in this sport while also making a name for ourselves at the highest level we’ve ever been offered in this sport.
As part of the Women’s National Football Conference, the Seattle Majestics are now sponsored by Adidas through the “She Breaks Barriers” campaign. What do you feel are the biggest barriers facing women in sports today?
There are so many barriers we face.
I’d say our biggest barriers would be others thinking we are inadequate. We are women playing in a male-dominated sport and some believe we aren’t good enough.
What they fail to realize is we aren’t wanting to compete with or against the guys but just to be given the opportunity to play on the same playing field as them – Not to be compared or looked down on but to really be given the chance to grow and learn on all levels as men have. Young boys have been training from pee-wee to middle school and high school and after that they earn full-ride scholarships to colleges where they are trained and prepared for the NFL.
Women haven’t had that opportunity or been given those choices.
At least not yet.
What do you see as your role in changing that?
Now days it’s becoming more common to have younger girls come try out and play and that’s what I feel and have seen my role as in changing that.
I’ve been playing this sport since I was in high school and it has always been my goal to get younger girls to be more aware that girls can do anything the boys can do.
I encourage my nieces to play sports and I’ll take them to their practices or games from time to time and encourage them to be great. My girlfriend’s youngest daughter who is just 7 years old is already training for her first football season. I think it helps having a good support system from her mom, dad, and older siblings, but also seeing women in our league not just playing but balling out too!
So every chance I have to get them exposed to that type of atmosphere I try to.
Based on your own experience, what advice would you give girls growing up today?
If you have a dream, never give up and always chase it.
Be comfortable in your own skin and know that it’s ok to not always fit in. Be happy with you who are.
Always work hard and always keep faith.
There will often be times where you get knocked down but just remember to always get back up.
Never ever let anyone tell you that you can’t do it.
Hard times make you tough, and easy times should make you want to work harder.
And no matter what, NEVER GIVE UP.
Who is your (s)hero and how did/ does she inspire you?
My inspirations are my parents. They have and still are the hardest working people I know and if it wasn’t for all the work they made me do off the field I would never understand the real meaning of putting in HARD WORK on the field.
They inspire me to be better everyday and I hope that one day I can repay them for all the hard work they did for me and my siblings growing up.
And finally, my nieces and nephews as well as my girlfriend’s children inspire me every day to be my best self both on AND off the field.
If you want to see Kase and the Seattle Majestics in action, you’re in luck! The WNFC recently joined forces with USCREEN and announced “WNFCTV.” Check out more information and watch the games live HERE