WNBA Celebrates Season-Long Title IX Anniversary

By Special to the Daily World
The Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) and its teams and players will celebrate Title IX’s 40th anniversary throughout the 2012 season.

Title IX bans sex discrimination in schools, whether in academics or athletics.

Forty years since the signing of the legislation, and 16 seasons later, the WNBA will commemorate the day by unveiling special uniforms designed by adidas to be worn by four WNBA teams on two nationally televised games on ESPN on Sat., June 23 – the Chicago Sky at Minnesota Lynx at 12:30 p.m. (ET) and the Los Angeles Sparks at Phoenix Mercury at 9 p.m. (ET). All uniforms for these games will feature “IX” on the front of the jerseys while player names and uniform numbers will remain the same on the back. In addition, commemorative adidas WNBA Title IX shirts will be available for purchase.

“As the most successful women’s sports league in the world, we truly believe the WNBA is a proof point of the impact of Title IX,” said WNBA President Laurel J. Richie. “The women of the WNBA – and all of the men who enjoy the game or have daughters and sisters who dream of becoming professional athletes – are beneficiaries of this legislation. We are proud to recognize this important anniversary.”

Title IX first began as a measure to eliminate discrimination of women in education, particularly in employment. The law, passed in 1972, specifically prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender in educational institutions receiving federal financial assistance.

The act applies to public and private schools, from kindergarten through graduate schools, and covers admissions, recruitment, course offerings and access, counseling, financial aid, employment assistance, facilities and housing, health and insurance benefits and services, as well as educational programs and activities.

Making landmark gains in education and academics, Title IX quickly took on a life of its own by branching off to promote girls’ and women’s athletics and to foster an increase in scholarships, requiring gender equity for boys and girls in every educational program that receives such federal funding.

WNBA.com will feature a Title IX section, which will include daily content and editorial pieces on politicians, executives, coaches, and athletes who have initiated or benefitted from this law. For more information, visit www.wnba.com.

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