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Here’s how the sports world is celebrating the 50th anniversary of Title IX

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50 years ago, on Thursday, June 23, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 was passed. This act changed the trajectory of women’s athletics and will continue to shape their future.

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The 37 words of Title IX prohibit sex discrimination in federally funded educational programs and activities. It took years after the legislation was passed for it to take effect, but it eventually led to the emergence of varsity women’s sports programs and professional leagues. But while significant progress has been made, there is still a long way to go.

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This month, leagues, athletes and leaders celebrated the law’s 50th anniversary. Here’s more details on Title IX, women’s sports to watch on Thursday, and how the sports world is celebrating the anniversary this weekend.

What to read on Section IX

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From Sportzshala Sports:

  • What is Title IX? An influential law that is often misunderstood is everything you need to know about Title IX, from 37 words to a three-way test, its limitations, and whether it is actually enforced.

  • As the only woman coaching youth basketball, here’s why Title IX can give the next generation even more – a first-person essay by Sportzshala Sports journalist Cassandra Negley on coaching youth basketball and her hopes for the next 50 years.

  • Treat men as women? Inside the fuzzy mathematics of correspondence to Section IX. Athletic departments often increase the lists of female rowers, double and triple female athletes, and count male training players to give the impression that they are following Section IX recommendations.

Women’s Sports to Watch for Title IX’s 9th Anniversary

Basketball/WNBA (Thursday): Minnesota Lynx at Phoenix Mercury (8:00 pm, WNBA League Pass), Seattle Storm at Washington Mystics (10:00 pm ET, CBS Sports Network), Los Angeles Sparks at Chicago Sky (22:30 pm ET, WNBA League Pass) )

Softball/Athletes Unlimited AUX (Thursday): Team Zerkle vs. Team O’Toole (7:00 pm ET, ESPNU), Team Fisher vs. Team O’Toole (9:30 pm ET, ESPNU)

Tennis/Wimbledon Qualifiers (Thursday)

WNBA and Australia softball jerseys

This week, WNBA teams and coaches began wearing “50 Years of Title IX” T-shirts at warm-ups and on the sidelines.

Athletes Unlimited AUX Softball players will also receive commemorative jerseys with the Roman numeral “IX” on the back for the Fantasy League Final Series.

Ahead of Thursday’s AU Double Header, which will air on ESPNU, nine Pachappa Little League Minor League players in Riverside, California will throw out the first pitch. AU will also host and recognize Southern California softball legends Sue Enquist (11-time national champion as both UCLA player and coach) and Stacey Nouveman-Denise (three-time Olympic medalist with Team USA). The games are played at San Diego State University, with Nouveman-Denise currently head coach.

Victoria Hayward at AU
Victoria Hayward wearing AU “IX” t-shirts for her 50th birthday. (Athletes without restrictions)

Twitter is hosting a series of Spaces to highlight change

Twitter is Launching a Twitter Spaces Day conversations withchampion and shed light on the feminine rights, their voices and stories, and to have important conversations.”

It kicks off at 1:05 pm ET with “Women in the Sports Media Covering Women’s Sports” featuring ESPN’s Elle Duncan, Sarah Spain, Holly Rowe and LaChyna Robinson. ESPN is chatting.

There will be two fireside chats. The first at 1:45 pm ET with “Game Changer Women” and the second at 2:30 pm with “NASA Women: Past, Present, and Future.”

The WNBA will host a final chat titled “26 Years of the WNBA… What’s Next?” at 3:05 pm ET. It will feature Bleacher Report’s Ari Chambers, Stetson University assistant coach and former WNBA player Barbara Farris, former WNBA player and coach Sylvia Crowley, and Phoenix Mercury and Suns vice president Ann Meyers.

Conversations about gender equality in sports are up 7% year-over-year, according to Twitter. According to the site, the average number of NCAA women’s sports tweets has increased by 127% over the past five years.

G10 holds first Women’s Leadership Summit

The Big Ten Conference is hosting its first Women’s Leadership Summit, a first for the organization, to coincide with the anniversary of Title IX.

Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren said in a press release that the event will bring together “some of the most outstanding women in collegiate athletics and highlight the mission of the Big Ten Conference to advance women’s sports.”

“This event is a celebration of the 50th anniversary of Title IX and a reflection of our unwavering commitment to providing transformative educational experiences and growth opportunities for our student athletes.”

Sarah Spain of ESPN will deliver opening remarks to over 75 student athletes, coaches and administrators from 14 schools. Participants will have the opportunity to network, learn and meet mentors. Invited speakers will talk about the history of the law, as well as the pioneers of women’s athletics. Among them are Jackie Joyner-Kersee (four-time Olympian), Tierra Davidson (World Cup champion, Chicago Red Stars), Katrina Adams (former professional tennis player and CEO of the US Tennis Association), and Jennifer King (assistant running coach, Washington Commanders).


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