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 #17 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports With Legendary New York Times Sports Columnist Robert Lipsyte – We chat about Lipsyte’s amazing career and some of the athletes he covered and got to know well, like Muhammad Ali, as well as his relationships with fellow sports journalists like Bob Costas and Howard Cosell.
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Episode #16 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Andrew Maraniss: Outstanding Author of Books That Focus On the Intersection of Sports, History and Social Justice.
Episode #15 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports Psychology with Dr. Tim Rice. We discuss the growth of sports psychology at all levels, the positive impact that a number of high profile athletes have had by opening up, and the importance of everyone involved in sports caring for the whole athlete, mind and body.
Episode #14 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Making Sense of the Injury Pandemic in Major League Baseball – Gary McCoy is a strength, conditioning and high performance coach who has worked with several Major League Baseball organizations.
Episode #13 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Conversation With Long-Time MLB Exec Dan Evans About What’s Right With Baseball and What Could Be Better – Evans is a former general manager for the Los Angeles Dodgers and is currently a consultant for Go the Distance Baseball, which owns the Field of Dreams movie site.
Episode #12 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Fun Chat With Dan Gutman, Author of the Baseball Card Adventure Series for Kids
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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