Attorney Andrea Dorch of Kansas City owns HAAG Sports Agency, haagsports.com, the only NFL Players Association-certified agent in Kansas City. Dorch graduated from Raytown South High School and joined the Navy, where she served eight years before returning to Kansas City to earn a law degree and a master’s in public administration at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. This conversation took place at Arrowhead Stadium.
You were the first female to serve on an Assault Craft Unit Four in Little Creek, Virginia. What was that like?
It was just after Tailhook had happened, and I’m the first female there, so I got all the brass telling me, “If you need anything, you let us know.”
I think the Navy took Tailhook very seriously. Obviously there are individuals in every organization in military and civilian life that are not welcoming when a woman comes in for the first time.
How did you handle those individuals?
I tried to be one of the boys, which I have learned is not a good thing. Adapting is OK, but trying to be one of them is not OK, because it misrepresents how you really want to be treated.
What is your best advice to other women in the military who face harassment?
Report any incident to the commanding officers. We have to get these individuals out of our military. The commanders want them out, too. The armed forces are honorable institutions.
Why did you decide to go into sports agency?
I grew up with a brother who is an avid sports fan. And my mom is an avid football and basketball fan. When I was in law school I took a sports law class and I knew instantly — this is what I’m going to do.
I met athletes on campus that wanted to turn pro and I knew they needed representation and there wasn’t anyone in the city to provide that.
I have also worked for the city (of Kansas City) for 10 years in economic development and I know what sports can bring to a city.
Who are some of your clients?
I have three student athletes in football. Two are draft eligible, meaning they can go out for the April 30 draft. One is at University of Florida and the other is at MU. The third one is a free agent out of Florida A&M.
What do you think about the NFL’s response to recent domestic violence incidents?
They are taking action but I don’t think it is appropriate action. I am a domestic violence survivor and I found the commercials so offensive.
The commercials are full of people appearing to choke back tears and then a caption appears that says, “Domestic violence and sexual assault are hard for everyone to talk about. Help us start the conversation.”
Why does that offend you?
Because that isn’t what domestic violence is. The majority of domestic violence survivors are silent or very aggressive. They are definitely not going to be the let-me-choke-back-tears-and-then-talk-about-it type of person.
I would rather see the NFL reach out to my community (of agents) to see what they are communicating to players, and reach out to the women.
The NFL needs to get mental health professionals involved. It is offensive to me that instead they are sensationalizing it. Instead of trying to look like they are taking it seriously, they need to look seriously at the problem.
Law enforcement needs to take the abusers to trials instead of putting them through an administrative procedure, which often happens. My abuser was sentenced to eight years in jail. It is called assault and battery. It is a violent crime.