In the March 2, 2015 issue of the SportsBusiness Journal, Leonard Armato eloquently argues that Title IX has not succeeded and did not go far enough in reshaping opportunities for women in sports. He’s right!
Title IX was groundbreaking and well-intentioned and certainly isn’t a total failure, but history shows that it came up short. Maybe it’s time to revisit it?
Title IX is federal legislation. As such, it’s targeted at institutions that receive federal aid, federal tax benefits and general federal help. At the time it was passed, the institutions covered by Title IX were limited by how the Federal Government viewed and defined (and therefore limited) who was receiving federal help. In order to get enough votes to pass any legislation, it had to be limited.
Mr. Armato points a finger at Madison Avenue, saying it has let down female athletes. This is true. But Madison Avenue doesn’t get tax breaks or other federal help, and so is beyond the reach of federal legislation. Brands and agencies are running their businesses according to the free market, as they should.
Broadcast, cable and telecommunications licenses ARE controlled by the Federal Government. And so perhaps those entities are more appropriate targets for beefing up Title IX to make sure they are providing equal promotion, coverage and access for women’s sports. While there is certainly more coverage of women’s sports today, it’s not anywhere near “equal”.
Turnkey strongly believes in gender and racial equality and is putting our resources (small as they are) behind these issues. We are proud to work with SBJ’s annual Game Changers Conference focused on women in sports, and with the National Association of Women’s Athletics Administrators (NACWAA). We are also honored to be assisting RISE, a new initiative dedicated to racial equality being spearheaded by Stephen Ross with help from Kenneth Shropshire and many others. More to follow.