By Ken Reed
As a society, we’ve definitely come a long ways since Title IX was enacted in 1972. But we still have a significant ways to go.
The gap between where we are now and where we need be in order to have equal opportunity in sports for both genders is evident when looking at a recently settled Title IX bias case filed against Washington, D.C schools.
The complaint charged D.C. schools’ sports programs with systematically discriminating against girls.
“When it comes to Title IX, schools in D.C. are about as bad as I’d ever care to see,” according to Herb Dempsey, a retired educator and Title IX activist based in Washington state who filed the complaint last spring.
According to the settlement agreement, signed by D.C. Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson and the U.S. Education Department’s Office of Civil Rights, girls will now be given the same opportunities to play sports as boys in D.C.
“This is a signpost to the future,” said Dempsey. “Ultimately, I’m hoping that a girl born in Washington D.C. will no longer have to pay a price for being treated like a second-class citizen.”
The most upsetting thing regarding Title IX’s status today isn’t the fact that girls still fall far short of equality, it’s that the gap between the two genders is widening again after decades of narrowing.
Consider this sobering statistic: Since 2004, the gap in the number of sports participation opportunities between males and females has expanded, not decreased. More athletics opportunities have been created for males than females in recent years.
“There are millions of more girls participating in sports today than there were 40 years ago,” says Donna Lopiano, president of Sports Management Resources and former CEO of the Women’s Sports Foundation. “But I thought we’d be further along on this issue. Men’s sports are growing faster than women’s the last five or six years in terms of opportunities.
It’s time to stop that trend and get back on course.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #32 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Prolific Author Joe Posnanski Joins the Show – Posnanski is one of America’s best sportswriters and has twice been named the best sports columnist in America by the Associated Press Sports Editors. We chat about his new book, “Why We Love Baseball,” his new Substack newsletter called Joe Blogs, and we cover topics including how baseball treats its fans, MLB’s numerous rule changes this past season, how the sport can become more fan-friendly, the greatness of Negro Leagues champion Buck O’Neil, and much more.
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Episode #31 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Foul Ball Safety Is Still an Important Issue at Ballparks – Our guests are Jordan Skopp, founder of FoulBallSafety.com and Greg Wilkowski, a Chicago based attorney. We discuss the historical problem of foul balls injuring fans and why some teams are still hesitant to put up protective netting in some minor league and college baseball parks.
Episode #30 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The State of College Athletics with Dr. David Ridpath: Problems and Potential Solutions – Ridpath is a sports administration professor at Ohio University and a member of The Drake Group, a college sports reform think tank.
Episode #29 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Honorable Tom McMillen Visits League of Fans’ Sports Forum – McMillen is a former All-American basketball player, Olympian, Rhodes Scholar and U.S. Congressman. We discuss the state of college athletics today.
Episode #28 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Chat With Mano Watsa, a Leading Basketball and Life Educator – Watsa is President of PGC Basketball, the largest education basketball camp in the world. We discuss problems in youth sports today.
Episode #27 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Kids’ Sports: How We Can Take Back the Game and Restore Quality Family Time In the Process – Linda Flanagan is author of “Take Back the Game: How Money and Mania Are Ruining Kids’ Sports and Why It Matters.” We discuss how commercialized and professionalized youth sports are hurting kids and their families.
Media"How We Can Save Sports" author Ken Reed appears on Fox & Friends to explain how there's "too much adult in youth sports."
Ken Reed appears on Mornings with Gail from KFKA Radio in Colorado to discuss bad parenting in youth athletics.
“Should College Athletes Be Paid?” Ken Reed on The Morning Show from Wisconsin Public Radio
Ken Reed appears on KGNU Community Radio in Colorado (at 02:30) to discuss equality in sports and Title IX.
Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
- Reed Appears on Ralph Nader Radio Hour League of Fans’ sports policy director, Ken Reed, Ralph Nader and the New York Times’ Tyler Kepner discussed a variety of sports issues on Nader’s radio show as well as Reed’s updated book, How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan. Reed's book was released in paperback in February, and has a new introduction and several updated sections.
League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.
Vanderbilt Sport & Society - On The Ball with Andrew Maraniss with guest Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director for League of Fans and author of How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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