EQUAL ATHLETES: In honor of Thursday’s 50th anniversary of Title IX, Voiceinsport supporters will join U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy on Capitol Hill Thursday to champion The Fair Play for Women Act of 2022.
The aim is to build upon the gender equity in high school and college sports that Title IX, the 1972 legislation that prohibited sex discrimination in all federally funded education programs including sports, helped to usher in. The Fair Play for Women Act of 2022 would strengthen three areas of Title IX — education, reporting and transparency and enforcement.
A year before President Richard Nixon signed Title IX into law, only 1 percent of college athletic budgets went to women’s sports programs. And at the high school level at that time, male athletes outnumbered female athletes 12.5 to 1. Girls currently comprise nearly 43 percent of high school athletes, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations.
Pro and amateur athletes and professionals are expected at Thursday’s Title IX 50th Anniversary Event. The WNBA’s first president Val Ackerman, Rock the Vote’s president Carolyn DeWitt and Break The Love founder and chief executive officer Trisha Goyal are among the supporters who are expected to turn up.
Following last year’s launch of the VIS Advocate Program, high school and college athletes have been informed of their Title IX rights and how to evaluate their respective schools for compliance. With a community-based digital platform for mental health, nutrition, sport science and mentoring resources, Voiceinsport hosts monthly training sessions on Title IX. More than 20 brands, players associations and nonprofit organizations support the #moreVISforIX pledge, which was created last year.
Champs Sports, WHOOP, Girls Inc. and Athletes Unlimited are among the ones that have committed to the initiative. By doing so, they are amping up the voices of girls and women in sports. Local VIS chapters are being set up and advocates are joining forces with Congressional leaders like Senator Murphy to try to create further policy change. The bill will be formally released Thursday and Champs Sports is the main sponsor for the Voiceinsport’s trip to Capitol Hill.
Separately, First Lady Jill Biden will be marking the anniversary of Title IX and the 10th anniversary of the U.S. State Department and espnW Global Sports Mentoring Program on Wednesday at the Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C. She will be joined by tennis legend Billie Jean King, who advocated tirelessly for the advancement of women and girls in sports and testified on Capitol Hill about the need for the groundbreaking legislation. Along with FLOTUS and King, All-American track athlete Maya Mosley of the University of Maryland will also speak at Wednesday’s event.
The author and defender of Title IX Patsy Mink, who in 1964 became the first woman of color and the first Asian-American woman to be elected to Congress, will be the subject of an upcoming New York Times op-doc titled “MINK!” That will be the first project to premiere with Hana Kuma credits. Tennis star and activist Naomi Osaka and her business partner Stuart Duguid announced the launch of the media company Hana Kuma Tuesday through a partnership with LeBron James and Maverick Carter’s The SpringHill Company. The Oscar-winning director Ben Proudfoot is directing the flick.
In honor of Title IX’s silver anniversary, the women-led Boathouse Sports introduced a limited-run $98 Tailwind Hoodie this spring with proceeds benefiting the Women Leaders in College Sports Foundation and the Pioli Family Endowed HBCU Scholarship.