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The Battle for Girls’ Sports

Good Sports
by Anya Alvarez

2017.06.23-NewsFeed-Title 9-IMAGE

On June 23, 1972, President Richard Nixon signed into place 37 words that would inevitably change the future of girls in sports:

No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

This legislation effectively opened the door for girls to have equal access to sports in their schools. In 1971, only 310,000 girls and women in the U.S. participated in high and college sports, compared with the 3.5 million girls and women who play sports today.

Despite Title IX’s success, there are still fewer girls playing sports compared with boys. By the time girls turn 14 years old, they are twice as likely to drop out of playing sports for a variety of reasons, according to the Women’s Sports Foundation. Lack of access plays a significant part. WSF, founded by tennis legend Billie Jean King in 1974, estimates that girls have 1.3 million fewer opportunities to play high school sports than boys have.

To help fight that gap, several sports organizations over the years have been founded to help engage girls in athletics who otherwise would have never played or who would have quit playing.

Dr. Kimberly Clay, founder of Play Like a Girl, grew up after Title IX was enacted. Regardless, sports were not an option for her to play in her small town of rural Mississippi.

Early in my life, I struggled with my weight. I was physically active in the sense of normal childhood activities like climbing trees and running around outside but didn’t have equal opportunity compared to my brothers to participate in sports,” Clay recalled.

Being a high achiever in other areas, I never really processed that I didn’t play sports in high school or middle school.”

Read the full story here.

 

Seahawks Star Donates All Of His Endorsement Money To Help Rebuild Minority Communities

Good Sports
By Penn Collins

@mosesbread72

@mosesbread72

Seahawk’s star Michael Bennett has always been outspoken about social issues. Now Bennett has announced that all of his 2017 endorsement money will be donated to minority communities and aiding women of color. Further, Bennett will be giving 50 percent of his jersey sale proceeds to fund public gardens in low-income areas.

Bennett’s gifts came after he saw Chance the Rapper’s high-profile press conference in which the hip-hop star, frustrated after meeting with the Illinois governor, pledged $1 million to fund Chicago public schools.

Previously, Bennett, along with his brother, Martellus—a former tight end for the New England Patriots, who just signed with the Green Bay Packers—has spoken out on matters such as Black Lives Matter and the scattered national anthem protests prior to NFL games. Bennett also penned an essay entitled, “Why I Stand with the Women’s Strike” for the Day Without a Woman project on International Women’s Day.

The NFL star announced his initiative via an Instagram featuring his three daughters.

Read the full story here.

A 17-Year-Old Football Player Just Made History—And He’s Pretty Chill About It

Good Sports
By Jeremy Repanich

My-King Johnson/Instagram

My-King Johnson/Instagram

When the Arizona Wildcats take the field on September 2 for their season opener against the Northern Arizona University Lumberjacks, My-King Johnson will make history. The highly touted 6-foot-4-inch, 225-pound Wildcat defensive end will become the first openly gay scholarship player in big-time college football history.

And he’s pretty chill about it.

It can put a target on my back,” Johnson told the Arizona Daily Star. “But whatever.”

Johnson, who was named one of the best defensive players in Arizona his senior year, is so comfortable with being out, because it’s not anything new to the 17-year-old. He’s been openly gay since he was 12, and he didn’t want to hide that fact from teammates. “I’m a very honest person,” he said. “I just don’t see how I could be living an honest, truthful life and have that in the background.”

And his friends and teammates have supported him along the way. “I love how open he is,” Alfonso Arispe told the Daily Star. “He doesn’t care because he’s focused on what he’s doing, and he’s focused on himself. Clearly, it shouldn’t affect anyone else, but no matter what, he doesn’t care about that. It doesn’t bother him one bit.”

There’s hopes he can excel enough to make his way to the NFL, because while great strides have been made in advocacy for LGBTQ athletes, there hasn’t been an openly gay athlete in one of America’s four major sports leagues (NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL) since Jason Collins played for the Brooklyn Nets in 2014 after coming out in a cover story for Sports Illustrated.

Read the full story here.

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