Leadership / 06.22.22
Title IX: Are Men's and Women's Championships the Next Step?
Front Office Sports (06/18/22) Christovich, Amanda
With this week marking the 50th anniversary of Title IX, experts view its prohibition on sexism in men's and women's sports as realizing only a fraction of its potential. A key issue revolves around whether or not to combine women's championships on the same level as their male peers, or to keep them separate. The four Grand Slam events in tennis are one of the few major merged championships, which has reaped tremendous financial and logistical benefits. Experts cite infrastructure and a fan base focused on all genders as critical constituents, while Women's Tennis Association President Micky Lawler said, "The value is in the totality of the property." Meanwhile, in fall 2021 the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) announced it would consider combining the men's and women's Final Fours following exposes of inequities between the men's and women's basketball tournaments, as well as structural flaws that Big East Commissioner Val Ackerman said establish a "natural limit" on growth. An equity report favored the combined championship model because the NCAA's sponsorship agreement already supports men's basketball. Ackerman lamented that the women's game still does not post equal ratings, ticket sales and general fanfare, despite its growth. On the other hand, Nicole LaVoi at the Tucker Center for Research on Girls and Women in Sport sees little need for combining events, contending, "Why would right now be the time where we're having conversations about combining [women's sport] with the men's when we have proven that women's sport is a viable standalone product?"
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Tags: Leadership , Title IX