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 #10 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: An Issues Discussion With Paul Dolan – Dolan is the Cleveland Indians Owner and CEO. He discusses the use of Native American names and logos by sports teams and the decisions to drop the Chief Wahoo logo and the upcoming change to the team name. Other baseball topics include health and safety, possible MLB rule changes and youth participation in the sport.
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Episode #9 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports Issues With Ralph Nader – Nader is a consumer advocate and was named one of the “100 Most Influential Americans of the 20th Century” by Time magazine. He is the founder of League of Fans.
Episode #8 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: How Can We Save College Sports From Overcommercialization and Professionalization? – The guest is Dr. David Ridpath, a sports business professor and past president of the Drake Group
Episode #7 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Brain Trauma and CTE Risk in Sports With Dr. Ann McKee – Dr. McKee works in the field of neuropathology and has demonstrated that “mild” repetitive head trauma can provoke chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a devastating neurodegenerative disease.
Episode #6 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Need for Quality Physical Education in Our Schools is Greater Than Ever – The guest is Clayton Ellis, one of our nation’s leading advocates for getting our young people to be more physically active.
Episode #5 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Youth Sports with Positive Coaching Alliance Founder Jim Thompson – Thompson started Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) in 1998 to help create a movement to transform the culture of youth sports from “win-at-all-costs” to a positive, character-building experience.
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.
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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.
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