January 19, 2024

In a Q&A? done by Brooke Cersosimo with NFL.com, Ebony Short is asked a series of questions pertaining to her career path and role with the Baltimore Ravens as Sewing Manager. Over the course of the interview, she also details how herself and three other seamstresses work closely alongside the Ravens Equipment Department to ensure the player's and staff's garment needs are met.

Describe what your role entails?

In our department, we have four seamstresses, and there is no way we would be able to do what we do without them and their skills. We make 3,700 thigh and knee pads in the offseason, along with specialty butt and hip pads, and sew them all into the players' pants. We also sew all of the pockets and the name embroidery. Every time the Ravens sign a new player, we are sewing their name onto the jersey to make sure it is ready by the time the player arrives.

Another big part of our job is the custom alterations. We take care of the coaches a little bit for game day, but our main focus is the players. Our jerseys are a very specific fit, and you don't want them to be too loose that you're being tackled or too tight that the player can't breathe. We've had to open seams in the shoulders so guys have more mobility, especially with our offensive linemen because their arms are always forward. Basically anything and everything a player needs, I will try to make that possible. Sometimes the equipment manager will explain what the player needs, but the players also come to us to show us a certain move that they can't do because the jersey is too restricting. Then I know the exact alteration that needs to be made. It takes a lot of workshopping, but once we have it down, we can specialize all of that player's jerseys. Same goes for the pants. We want to make sure every player is comfortable, so they don't have to think about their uniform while they are playing.

Training camp is probably the busiest time of the year, but it's helpful for us to see the players in their jerseys out at practice. I get most of my information then and in the first few weeks of the regular season. I think some players are surprised, in a sense, that we make jerseys fitted to them because maybe they haven't had that before.

I also started painting cleats. Sometimes our players want a specific style of cleat, but maybe it only comes in bright orange. I will then paint them to be our colors, using a brush or an airbrush.

Do you have any advice for women interested in a career similar to yours?

My immediate thought is to be undeniable. I struggled a little bit at first when I took a job in sports because I had never been in a space like this. But I had to realize I belonged here and to let my work speak for me. That's always my goal, to work really hard and leave people with a good impression of my work.

So that, and show up full. I think society in general teaches women to shrink themselves, especially in the workplace and in male-dominated industries. It's easy to fall into the shadows. I am an introvert, but I've learned to speak up and do the work, so my full self shows up every day. What you have to say, do and offer is valuable. I've been so fortunate because I've had leadership that has seen that in me and allowed me to grow. Show up full because you are valuable, otherwise you wouldn't have been hired.

More can be read from the article by Brooke Cersosimo of NFL.com about Ebony Short.

Categories: Teams

Tags: Baltimore Ravens