The San Francisco 49ers may have come up short in Super Bowl LIV, but not all was lost for the team, or for fans of the sport. 49ers’ assistant coach Katie Sowers became the first openly gay female to coach in a Super Bowl. Sowers made history, and while a great many people were supportive and proud of her, she and her team were still subject to a great deal of insults and online criticism after the Niners’ loss.
The day after the San Francisco fell to the Kansas City Chiefs, Sowers took to Twitter to comment on the loss and give the Chiefs a shout out. She also took a second to utilize the motto of comedian and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres. “I wanted this so bad for my guys… for my dad. Congrats to the @Chiefs … please as you comment to my players or staff members, remember we are all human. As @TheEllenShow says, Be Kind. This loss has unfortunately reminded me of the hatred in this world.”
The hatred Sowers is referring to is coming from numerous voices on social media that came out of the woodwork to criticize her and her players after the loss. Some of the more unflattering comments directed at Sowers and the Niners are included below. WARNING: several of the following tweets contain very NSFW language and derogatory words or imagery.
The great majority of responses Sowers received were positive, and a few of them were from celebrity fans who wanted to lend Sowers their support.
Ellen DeGeneres to Katie Sowers: You Accomplished an ‘Incredible Thing’
Shortly after Sowers’ tweet, DeGeneres responded, immediately throwing her support behind the revolutionary 49ers assistant coach. “I hope you know what an incredible thing you accomplished yesterday,” the Emmy-winning talk show host tweeted. Sowers responded by thanking DeGeneres.
Jenna Fischer, who is best known for portraying Pam on The Office, also rang in with words of appreciation and support for Sowers, even though Fischer and her family were rooting for the Chiefs. “We erupted in applause at our house when your segment ran during the Super Bowl. It was very moving,” Fischer said. Modern Family actor Eric Stonestreet, also a Chiefs fan, chimed in, calling Sowers a “class act.”
Sowers has also received a huge outpouring of support from 49ers fans, as well as fans across the league, with many tweeting about how inspired their young daughters were seeing the first female to coach in a Super Bowl. “The @49ers didn’t win the Super Bowl, but the mark they left on young kids like my 6-year-old daughter was a win for humanity,” one fan wrote, including an image of a drawing of Sowers courtesy of his daughter: