In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the passing of the groundbreaking Title IX legislation, Buick and The Shadow League offer the final installment counting down the 22 moments that defined the era in women’s sports.
Title IX, is a federal law that prohibits federally funded education programs and activities from discriminating on the basis of sex. Its enactment tasked public schools with creating equitable opportunities for women to participate in sports, investing in scholarships for men and women proportional to their participation, and treating male and female student athletes equally.
Award-wining sports journalist and media personality Jemele Hill discussed the importance of University of South Carolina women’s basketball head coach Dawn Staley signing a seven-year $22.4 million contract extension. That figure makes Staley the highest-paid Black head coach in women’s college basketball.
“Dawn getting that money, it was so symbolic on a lot of levels,” Hill said. “She’s the highest paid Black female head coach ever. Dawn knew what she was worth. She knew what that program was when she got there, and she has brought it to a dynasty level. Where this is, arguably, is the premier basketball program in women’s college basketball.”
Title IX hasn’t only made improvements on the floor/field and sidelines, but it’s also helped shape the diversity at the ownership level.
Mellody Hobson is the CEO of Ariel Investments, an investment company with $15B in assets under management. She is also the chairwoman of the Starbucks Corporation. Hobson is also part of the Walton-Penner group which owns the NFL’s Denver Broncos, making her the first Black female owner in NFL history.
Christine Simmons, former President and COO of the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks, and current COO for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences thinks Hobson is a disrupter.
“When we talk about disruption of power Mellody embodies that,” Simmons said. “Now that she has that stake in ownership, and has that powerful seat, especially from her finance background, that’s critical.”
There have been tremendous advances for women in the last 50 years, yet there is so much more that needs to be done, hopefully it will take less than another 50 years.