This week we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Title IX, the law that basically says men and women must be given equal amenities and cannot be discriminated based on sex for any program that receives government funding. While much like the civil rights laws passed before it, some things improved but it’s far from equal. The strides made because of the ruling cannot be ignored, particularly in sports.
Title IX is undoubtedly the reason for the development of women’s basketball on every level. Surely a case could be made that the law changes in America caused a shift in women’s athletics worldwide. Title IX happened in 1972, women’s basketball entered the Olympic Games in 1976. Draw your own line.
This past weekend the St. Louis Surge made their home debut for the season this year. In their 10th season, the Surge are set on not just getting back to the championship game, but winning it again. They’ve come up short the last few seasons and are set on getting over the hump.
In order to change your results, you must change your way of doing things and owner, Khalia Collier, is most definitely shaking the table. This season found the team with a new coaching staff & an almost completely different roster. The team will now be led by Petra Jackson and assisted by Justin Tatum. The roster has 8 new players and only 2 returning from last years’ run.
So far this season, the team is off to a rough start. Following the home opener loss, the team record sits at 1-4. Adversity is a part of being a woman in sports and you don’t get to win 2 National Championships by quitting when you’re down. The Surge still have 5 games on the current schedule, 4 of which are home games. Based solely on the team’s social media, they certainly have the swagger to overcome the learning curve and turn the season around.
As a little girl that had to play with boys when I began sports because there weren’t enough teams for girls in my neighborhood, I have seen the changes first hand and I am inspired by it every day without fail. I’m sure women’s basketball wasn’t on the mind of Birch Bayh when he wrote those 37 words but the St. Louis Surge is undeniably the result of them. And as it was an amendment to the civil rights act, Collier stands at the intersection of them both as a black woman. She, her coach and the roster are directly impacted by the simple idea that women can & should be able to do what men are able to do inherently.
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- Nappy Nando!: The Road to WisNANsin - Monday, April 25, 2022