– This time of year, we hear
so many inspiring stories of players who’ve overcome the odds to find success on the field. At 13 years old, our next guest has faced big obstacles in football. That’s because she’s a girl
in a male-dominated sport but she says she won’t let
anything, on or off the field, stop her from playing the game she loves. Say hello to Ariel y’all. (audience cheers) How did you get into football? Do you have brothers? Were you playing with it– – Yeah, well, when I used to watch my brother play, I got really attached to the sport, like, I knew that sport was right for me ’cause I was used to physical activity. – Yeah. – And I saw him playing. I went to my mom and I was like, “Why didn’t you put me in there?” Like, “I wanna be in there.” She agreed to put me in
there and I was really happy, but it was kinda hard being the only girl. (dog snarls and barks) – Dante needs a time out! (laughs) – Dante needs a time out. – Dante’s had a rough game, hey buddy? (Kelly laughs) – Aww. – So but you felt it was kinda rough ’cause you were the only girl? – Yeah.
– So what response do you get from like the boys
on the team or other teams? – They always said that I
was short, I was a girl, I wasn’t intimidating for the other teams. And I wanted to prove them wrong and I wanted to show the coach that I can make a good part of the team. – [Kelly] Yeah. – And so during a couple of practices we did some tackling drills. – Yeah.
– I tackled them, they respected me, they said, “Okay, she knows how to play.”
– Yeah you showed them what’s up on the field.
– Yeah. – Yeah. (audience cheering) Look at you! – [Tony] I love it, I love it. – Oh my gosh. (audience cheering) That was like Herculean,
like you were like… That was… I mean, and I would have
walked right past them and been like, “And that was from a girl.” You’re welcome.
– Oh, I love it, yeah. – I would have rubbed it in. Like that’s crazy, I mean
how impressive is it y’all, that a little girl’s just out there.
– It’s unbelievable. If I could do this to my older brother… (laughs) – I ask you, so you play, you like defense more than offense? – Yeah.
– Right, so you like hitting people? – Yeah, it depends on–
– (laughs) That’s what I’m saying–
– You know what? – I’m not tough enough to play defense. – And now it sounds like
a woman’s sport. (laughs) – Getting angry. Okay so Ariel’s mom,
Jackie, is in with us today. I mean, how proud are you? – I’m really–
– How proud slash scared are you sometimes? – I was scared, but you know,
because of her being so small and for her age and she’s a girl, I got a lot of bad
feedback but, you know… I was like, I’m not even worried about her I’m more worried about the boys that she’s gonna be tackling, you know. – Do you wanna know? This is real, like my mother
used to say the same thing about me when I played soccer
when I was a kid ’cause I… I think I just enjoyed
plowing into people. – Yep.
– Yeah. – And she would be like, “You know what, “I just want to hit,” and
I’m like, “Go out there. “All your anger, take it out there.” – Yeah, focus it on something
productive like this sport, that’s amazing, good job Mom. – Thank you. – Yes, raising a woman. Do you think, ’cause I
played sports growing up, and I feel like it helped
kinda mold my character and like, being able
to be a part of a team, do you feel like that, like
sports has done that for you? – I was just about to say
that, this is beauty of sports where there is no such
thing as race, color, age, gender, nothing. It’s about going out there
and having a good time, coming together and that is what I love. – Me too.
– In fact, I don’t miss the physical
part of football, like, getting hit and all that stuff, what I do miss, is being
in that locker room and hanging around, don’t
you love just hanging out with your friends? – Yeah.
– I bet some of your best friends are
now on the team, right? – Yeah. – Yeah, so that’s what–
– That’s so cool. – It’s all about, is that– – I love, I think that’s what’s helped me become like a team
member instead of like… ‘Cause people are always
trying to be a leader and I’m like, you can’t be a great leader, unless you can follow and
unless you can actually be a part of a team and I think that sports definitely teaches kids that. – Absolutely.
– Yeah. So wait, Ariel, how long do
you plan on playing football? Is it just like a thing you love to do as a hobby, or a forever thing? – I plan on going pro. – [Kelly] Get it. – Like, I plan on going to high school. (audience cheers and applauds) And I plan on going more. Like, I wanna be a coach for an NFL team. – Wow.
– And I also wanna join the Women’s Football League. – That’s amazing, I’m
so into watching that, I’m like, I would be a
sports caster for that. I’d learn about a sport for that. – There is a female coach
in the NFL right now too. – That is so cool.
– Yep, yep. – How cool is that?
– Get it ladies. Well, we have a little
surprise for you, Ariel. We have a woman here who is
exactly where Ariel wants to be. She recently made headlines
for being the first athlete to sign a multi-million dollar contract with the new Women’s
Football League Association, so would you like to meet her, maybe or? (laughs) She’s known as the Queen
of Abs, like myself, to her 400,000 social media followers. Please welcome, Santia Deck y’all! (audience cheers) Hello! You are gorgeous girl. – Crying, oh my god, nice to
meet you, nice to meet you. – Oh my gosh, she’s crying.
– You look stunning, I do hugs, I’m honored to met you. – [Kelly] Baby! (audience cheers) Oh my gosh. – [Santia] Can I have a hug? (audience cheers) – Oh my gosh. I can’t! I can’t, oh my god look at this–
– You’re making, look at everybody cry out here. – This is like real joy and excitement. I mean, Santia meet Tony and Anna first, I’m so sorry, they’re
here as well. (laughs) And your future football
pro Hall of Famer here, this Ariel as well and that’s Dante, we’ll talk about him later. (laughing) So what’s it like to be in
a sport dominated by males? – It can be challenging. I’ve had a lot of like, amazing
feedback, positive feedback, but of course you know I
have the people, the… – Naysayers.
– Some of them men that are like, “Why are you
trying to play this sport? “You’re a girl. “Are you trying to be a man?” and I’m just like, “No, I never said–”
– You just like the game. – Exactly, I just said, “I
never said I wanna be a man, “I never wanna play with men.” Look at me, I’m five one, like, 130 pounds so I know I would like literally
die if I got hit by a guy. – No, me too, I’m 130 too. (laughing) Yeah, so hard holdin’ it down. – Right, but I just want,
I want women to know that we have a platform too. We can play this sport just like the men, be compensated just like the men and go out here and chase our dreams. – And you’re saying… (audience applauds) And you’re saying as far as football, you like being a part
of the Women’s League, it’s not like you wanna play against men. You want women to have their own league. – Exactly.
– That’s different. – Exactly.
– That’s why I think men always think like,
we’re gonna get beat up and I’m like, “Ain’t nobody stupid here.” – Right! (laughing) – I mean, there is
soccer for women and men. Like there’s–
– WNBA. – [Kelly] There should be
football for men and women, yeah. – Exactly.
– So how did it feel like signing that multimillion dollar contract? What did you buy, did
you buy something crazy? – I bet if felt good. (laughing) – You’re like, “You know what? “It was kind of a depressing day.” That was a dumb question.
– I wasn’t really sad, I was in my bed crying, no. (laughs) No but, it was surreal. Honestly, the whole time I was like, yo, this is opening up doors
for women in all sports. – Exactly.
– Like I can really kind of help pioneer this whole thing, and show women like, it’s our time. – Show this little woman.
– Show this little baby, that we can do this, this our sport too, this is our sport though.
– And she knows you, she was crying her face off
so you know that this dream has probably had a lot to do with you, like, inspiring her and, ah, it’s so cool. How cool is it Anna, seeing
women playing in this sport? – It’s incredible, it’s incredible. I couldn’t imagine, like, when I was 10, watching something like this. – It’s honestly been, like I said, I hear like older women
like, “Man, I wish, “you know, back in my day,
I coulda got out there “and did something like that,” so just being able to like– – Just 43. (laughing) Okay.
– You still got a shot. – Thanks. – “I’ve still got it!” – No it’s fine, lick my wounds. (laughing) – She’s kidding. I am with you though, whenever,
I’m from the South too, a small town in the South, and football is everything in Texas, okay. Like if you don’t like it, you’re banned from being in the state. And, it is true, the only
place on the field for a girl was to be a cheerleader. You know, you couldn’t play the sport. – Exactly. – You truly are a pioneer. It’s a really, really,
just refreshing, cool and inspiring thing you’re doing. – Thank you so much.
(audience applauds) – Yeah.
– Thank you. (audience applauds) – So Santia, what advice do
you have for Ariel to succeed? ‘Cause it’s a, you aren’t joking whether you’re gonna keep it
real, it’s not easy, right? – Nope, it’s not easy at all. So what I would tell you
and I’ll tell anybody, but especially you, whatever
you wanna do in this life, go get it. I was told “no” so many times,
I was told that I’m crazy, that, again, “Are you trying to be a man?” You know, I was told that, “Oh, you should just
stay in a woman’s place,” you know the “play the, run
track do the little things,” or whatever, they’re like,
“You shouldn’t be out here.” But I was like, “No. “I’m gonna keep going, I’m gonna
keep doing what I wanna do, “I’m gonna chase this dream.” I wanna be able to show
little girls, like you, that hey, I have somebody that
has done what I want to do so it’s possible. It’s attainable, it’s real. – [Kelly] Yeah! (audience cheers) I need you in my life.
– Oh my gosh. – I know, I’m like,
“Can you write a book?” I would read it. And you’re like super
hot, it’s so annoying. I mean, “Gah, it’s a blessing” (laughing) God bless. One of my favorite things on this show is teaming up remarkable women with unstoppable young
girls they can mentor. And it’s something we call,
“A Whole Lotta Woman.” (upbeat music) So Santia, you have a surprise for Ariel, in that spirit right? – I do. So, I would love to mentor you. I would love to help you
along your football journey. And whatever questions you
have, whatever concerns, you can call me, text me,
whatever you want to do, I’m here. And I would love to invite
you to one of our games, you and your mom. (audience cheers) – You’re very inspiring, does
that sound awesome or what? – Sounds spectacular, I can’t
even speak right, right now. – I’m not even like, I
don’t even know a lot about sports ball and I wanna go. (laughing) Like, it sounds amazing.