On this episode of Minnesota Sounds and Voices, MPR’s Dan Olson profiles several women's Hmong American flag football teams as they prepare to compete at this year's Hmong Freedom Celebration. Playing the game was a formidable cultural hurdle the young Hmong American women had to overcome, as families place a high value on women as wives rather than competitors.
The first women's flag football teams were organized in the Twin Cities nearly a decade ago to help raise funds for various causes. Popularity and team numbers grew. In 2006, the women won approval to compete in the Hmong Freedom Celebration from the organizers, the St. Paul-based Lao Family Community.