by Ken Reed

Time to End Degrading “Lady” Adjective in Sports

Here we are, almost to 2015, and we still have numerous high schools and colleges around the country that use the “Lady” adjective before the school’s nickname. For example, the Lady Raiders.

Why do we need to differentiate girls and women’s teams this way? We don’t call the men’s teams “Gentlemen Raiders,” do we? The use of “Lady” is disrespectful, condescending and degrading to female athletes. It doesn’t fit with the equal opportunity and equal treatment mandate of Title IX.

Arizona Republic columnist Paola Boivin touched on this following the welcomed news that the University of Tennessee was dropping the “Lady” from their “Lady Vols” moniker for the school’s women’s sports teams. (See “No Room for Lady …”)

“One university,” writes Boivin. “One athletic department. One nickname. Male. Female. They are athletes. All of them. And they are more alike than different. Let’s stop the verbal segregation. … Call me a Lady-killer, but it needs to go away. All of it.”

To do so would be in keeping with the spirit of Title IX.

Most importantly, it’s the right thing to do.

–Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans


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