Mark Simon | Boston Renegades Staff
Boston Renegades wide receiver Adrienne Smith has been named to Team Milk, a group of best-in-class athletes who strive to inspire the next generation of athletes while educating them about the benefits of drinking milk.
The team is assembled by MilkPEP, a national milk marketing organization who originated the well-known ‘Got Milk?’ ad campaign of the 1990s and 2000s. In recent years, MilkPEP has revitalized milk education with a modern focus on the nutritional and performance benefits of milk.
Team Milk is part of a wider ‘Gonna Need Milk’ campaign to promote milk as “The Original Sports Drink.” A central theme in the campaign is how milk’s unique nutritional attributes fuel extraordinary accomplishments as personified by the members of Team Milk. 
Team members’ testimonials, including Smith’s, are now being shared widely on the campaign’s website and social media accounts. Team Milk information will be ubiquitous in school nutrition programs. And the team’s female football players were shown prominently on billboards outside this year’s Super Bowl venue SoFi Stadium. Also, thirty-second television commercials appeared on NFL Network on Super Bowl Sunday.
Football Is Football
Smith’s selection to the team isn’t only about promoting milk. It is also about bringing women’s football to a wider audience and inspiring the sport’s next generation of players.
“I am so honored to be a member of Team Milk and to help level the playing field for women and girls in tackle and flag football,” Smith posted on her Instagram account.
To that end, Smith and three other women were chosen to pioneer a new slogan for the next generation: FOOTBALL IS FOOTBALL.
Smith is joined on the 2022 edition of the team by fellow Women’s Football Alliance wide receiver Lois Cook of the D.C. Divas, U.S. National Flag Football Team wide receiver Joann Overstreet, and quarterback Jona Xiao of Los Angeles-based flag football champions She-Unit.
A platform for representation and inspiration
For Smith, Team Milk provides a nationwide platform to provide representation for those who rarely see someone like themselves portrayed as elite performers. And from Essence to Fansided, the national media is beginning to carry the message.
“We’ve got women playing, succeeding, in this sport,” Smith told Aryanna Prasad of Fansided. “And Team Milk is the springboard that we’re using to get that message out there and to be seen and to have a phenomenal platform that’s going to encourage so many people.”
“I’m so proud to be a part of Team Milk because they’re showing Black women and girls out there that athletes like them exist, and we’re really doing what we love in a big way,” Overstreet told Essence magazine.
The team offers scholarships to the top female student-athletes who play flag football. It also provides resources to girls who want to play football.
The Importance of Allies
Four players from the ranks of men’s professional football round out Team Milk: Juju Smith-Schuster, Derrick Henry, Terry McLaurin, and Justin Herbert.
“It’s absolutely important,” Smith said of having allies advancing women’s football. “It sends a signal to boys and girls that there is equity and that there’s a place for men and women in football. I think that’s the power that representation has… It helps shift the paradigm from being separation and inequality to one of unity,” she told Prasad.
If you support women in football or in sports in general, all you’re doing is enhancing everyone,” Cook explained to Prasad. “It’s important to change the narrative a little bit, and that’s why I really appreciate Team Milk. This is truly a game-changer for us.”