Excelling Beyond Cancer.
Fierce. Game Changer. Conqueror. Legend.
Toni Harris dreams of playing professional football. If there’s anyone who can put a woman in the hallway that leads to the stage and a handshake with the NFL commissioner on draft day, it’s her. Antoinette “Toni” Harris, a free safety, is the first woman to earn a scholarship to play defense in a skilled position …. “a seriously skilled and tough position, no less,” according to a Glamour article posted about her earlier this month.
People along the way tried to stop her from playing the traditionally male sport. “My biggest pet peeve is people telling me that I can’t,” Toni said in an interview with NBC News. “So I have to prove them wrong.”
“I don’t let anything stop me. I don’t take no for an answer,” she said.
It’s an ethos that has served her well, particularly when she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer four years ago and started treatment with 16 chemotherapy session, three days apart in the beginning. Her weight dropped from 175 pounds to 90 pounds.
Earlier this year, Toni committed to Central Methodist University in Missouri following two years of breaking the mold playing football for East Los Angeles community college in Los Angeles, after she recovered from cancer. Her level of play there earned her six scholarship offers.
Her motto: Be so good, they can’t ignore you.
Find out more about this amazing cancer survivor here:
“Toni Harris Just Made History as One of the First Women Awarded a Football Scholarship,” by Abby Gardener, Glamour.com
“College football’s first female position player, Toni Harris has beat cancer, critics and wide receivers,” by Dennis Dodd, CBS Sports