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By John Cardullo, sports writer, RINewsToday
It was on June 23, 1972 when President Richard M. Nixon signed Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, it was a comprehensive federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded education program or activity. The objective of Title IX was to avoid the use of federal money to support sex discrimination in education programs, and to provide individual citizens effective protection against those practices. Title IX applies, with a few specific exceptions, to all aspects of federally funded education programs or activities. In additional educational institutions such as colleges, universities and elementary and secondary schools. Title IX also applies to any education or training program operated by a recipient of federal financial assistance…. in other words LET THE GIRLS PLAY!
It took a few years before the
rule was taken into full effect (and a few lawsuits along the way), that girls
and women were offered the same right to participate in competitive sports as
the boys and men were. How the Ladies flourished! Look where they were, being
restricted to sports such as track, figure skating, swimming and badminton. The
ladies took hold and blew the lid off the bottle that restricted them and look
how far they have come- Olympic Gold medals in virtually every sport that were
only at one time offered to men. The USA Women’s softball dominated the
Olympics for years before the sport was stopped, eliminated, and once again be
brought back in the 2020 Olympics. The Women’s Soccer team has been on the
World stage even before winning the 2019 World Cup. UCONN women’s basketball
has been compared to the old UCLA and Duke men’s teams, winning National
Championship after National Championship and being a force in women’s
basketball for years.
How the scene has changed,
golfers like Michelle Wie, tennis stars like Venus and Selena Williams and
soccer stars like Hope Solo have become household names. Race Car driver Danica
Patrick drove with the boys in every NASSCAR event for years before deciding to
retire and Rhonda Roussey boxed her way to the World Championship before going
into other ventures. Watching the WNBA a fan can cheer on their favorite player
in huge arenas playing the best of the best on a night in and night out basis.
There are many professional teams that are just for women in hockey, soccer,
softball. Women have even crossed over to become professional umpires and NFL
officials. The have made their mark in the broadcast booth, for both men and
women professional sports.
If you think that these women
are the exception and not the rule, don’t tell Maddie Freking that she can’t
play. Maddie is currently the starting second base (wo)man on this year’s
Mid-West regional representative in the Little League World Series. A sport
dominated through the years by boys. Maddie is one of 12 girls to play in the
boy’s only club, that is the Little League World Series and if you watch her
play, it is obvious to see that she is as good if not better than most the
players in the tournament. But the fact that she is part of history is not lost
on her, she said when it was pointed out that she was one of twelve,” that’s
cool, one of twelve? I had no idea; all I want to do is help my team win”. She
told an ESPN reporter. Who knows, are we seeing the first female baseball start
that may crack the major league baseball ranks? It is going to happen
eventually why not Maddie Freking?
is true that women in sports have come a long way since June 23, 1972, but
sadly they still are behind their male counterparts, in opportunities and
salary. But the ladies are gaining ground little by little and over the next
few months this sports section of RITodaysNews.com will have articles focusing
on the ladies, where they are now and where are they heading. How competitive
travel AAU teams for basketball, softball, soccer, volleyball and Lacrosse have
become commonplace but what’s on the horizon for them? In the 47 years since
Title IX became a reality and girls emerged onto the sport scene, they came a
long way, but they only scratched the surface!