Raiche for the stars

Raiche for the stars
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‘Raiche for the stars’ is simultaneously a terribly tacky tabloid-worthy headline and (for me) an irresistible pun.

It refers to Catherine Raiche who has left a front office role with the Tampa Bay XFL franchise, to take up a football operations coordinator role with the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFL it was reported recently.

A Rapid Rise

When I first started writing about the CFL it was on the NFLGirlUk website. One of the earliest articles was about Raiche transitioning to assistant GM with the Montreal Alouettes.

One thing that shone through then, as now was a combined love of the game and a driving ambition. So it has been of little surprise to see her rapid rise since then.

Raiche first moved from Montreal to the Toronto Argonauts as director of football administration in 2018. She would go on to take a front-office role with the XFL’s Tampa Bay franchise before the Eagles hired her as their football operations coordinator.

A little bit of History

Raiche was the first female assistant general manager in the CFL for 30 years. She is the first woman to held such a role since 1988 when Jo-Anne Polak held that position with the Ottawa Rough Riders.

The CFL’s own Diversity is Strength campaign celebrated Polak, among others last year.

It is good that she is remembered. Pioneers should be celebrated. But Raiche will not want to be remembered for her gender when she is done. She will want to be judged on ability and level of success alone.

In the words of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, “Culture does not make people. People make culture.”

When successful women like Raiche are embraced on ability alone and their gender is not a story-line then our culture will have moved on for the better.

The only question left for Catherine Raiche is seemingly how far she can go. She will doubtless continue to ‘Raiche for the Stars’ and we should continue to watch this space!

Banner image: Raiche in her role with the Toronto Argonauts. Image from sportsnet.ca

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