U.S. Women’s Star Knight Proud to Shoot ‘Like A Girl’
NEW YORK — Hilary Knight was one of an estimated 114 million-plus people in America watching Super Bowl XLIX on Feb. 1. And like many of those people, Knight was tuned in when Always aired its #LikeAGirl ad, part of its campaign to help instill confidence in young girls and tear down stereotypes.
For Knight, joining in was a logical next step.
“It was sort of a no-brainer to get involved with the campaign,” Knight told NHL.com. “When I was growing up, ‘play like a girl’ or ‘you shoot like a girl,’ whatever it is, sort of had a negative connotation to it.
“After seeing the Super Bowl for the first Always ‘Like A Girl’ campaign, it really changed my view on the ‘like a girl’ phrase, and the tagline that they’re using now.”
Knight is one the most accomplished female hockey players on the planet. She was a member of the 2014 U.S. Olympic team that won a silver medal in Sochi. But playing a male-dominated sport, as she described it, Knight said she has faced plenty of hurdles and now wants to help empower girls of any age hoping to play hockey, or simply be there for anyone in need of a female role model.
“I worked really hard to get to this level, and part of the responsibilities of the job is to give back and make sure you’re accessible to the kids, because you remember when you were in their shoes and watching, for me, Cammi Granato and Angela Ruggiero when I was growing up,” said Knight.
When Knight and the United States lost 3-2 in overtime to Canada in the gold-medal game, it showcased the skill level and entertainment value that women’s hockey offers. The game also averaged 4.9 million viewers on its NBC broadcast. For those unfamiliar with women’s hockey, or those who simply assume it isn’t fun to watch, Knight said those kinds of games can go a long way.
“That’s a stereotype and stigma that I fight daily, and through this campaign it helps obviously broaden the spectrum of women’s hockey, but also empowers people,” Knight said. “It’s just part of the growth of the sport.”
Knight was featured in Always’ latest video, “#LikeAGirl — Stronger Together,” which was released Monday. In it, Knight skates into a shot before looking at the camera and saying, “I shoot like a girl.” Part of the campaign is reversing the meaning of that saying and using it to promote confidence.
“It’s cool because originally, only 19 percent of people thought ‘like a girl’ was a good phrase,” Knight said. “And now 72 percent from the Super Bowl ad think it’s a great phrase. It’s interesting how just in a short amount of a time a simple phrase has changed from something that was stereotypical and negative to something that’s empowering.
“People are really passionate and following in suit, and it’s gaining momentum.”