June marks the 40th anniversary of equal rights in women’s sports at a collegiate level. Looking back, it has opened the door for many, many women, including myself. Over the past 40 years, women all over the country have been able to shine in a way that they never before could have even dreamed of, but Title XI still has a long way to go.
People are still under the mindset that women do not need athletics to become someone or something, which is true. BUT telling a female that she can’t play soccer, tennis or run track because she is a woman is wrong and unfortunately still happening. A female runner recently went to court because she wanted to be able to compete on the team was told by a New Haven judge that, “Athletic competition builds character in our boys, We do not need that kind of character in our girls.”
Apparently the judge, who took an oath to uphold the constitution, forgot a key point: Title IX.
“No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”
–Title IX of the Education Amendment, 1972
Either the people who oppose it are really in the mindset that women have no right being on an equal playing field as men or not a fan of sports at all. As a sports fan, how could you not respect Billie Jean King, Sheryl Swoopes, Abby Wambach, Jennie Finch, Lisa Leslie and the great Pat Summitt. All of those women changed their respective sport for not only women, but also men. The list of great women in sports goes on and on.
These female athletes are working everyday to keep girls involved in sports and make sure that females have the same rights as the men when it comes to athletics. For someone who was involved with college sports and played sports all of my life, I owe quite a bit to the Title IX pioneers. My daughter will be involved in sports when she gets older just as I was.
Happy Birthday, Title IX and thank you.