Five myths about women’s sports

By Liz Clarke, Reporter, Washington Post (The real battle lines are between college sports’ “haves” ( football and men’s basketball) and its “have-nots” (men’s Olympic sports and women’s sports), as three-time Olympic gold medalist and law professor Nancy Hogshead-Makar explains in her book “Equal Play: Title IX and Social Change.”) Washington Post story... read more

Rise in Title IX discrimination complaints highlights persistent disparities for female athletes

by Daily Kos Staff (“Anyone can file an OCR complaint, legal representation isn’t necessary. But some advocates for female athletes hope the latest report will also reveal ways in which systemic discrimination can be remedied. That’s the hope of civil rights lawyer Nancy Hogshead-Makar, who is also a former Olympian and chief executive of the advocacy group Champion Women. The question Hogshead-Makar’s organization and others are trying to address now, she said, is how to address the problems on a broad scale rather than on a case-by-case basis. “The idea is, how do you get change to scale?” she said. “We do the one-offs. But one-offs inform the bigger projects of how you get change to scale.”‘) Daily Kos story... read more

The WNBA And Its Isiah Thomas Problem

by Alana Glass, Forbes Contributor (While the voting standards set forth by the Board of Governors are not a matter of public record, Nancy Hogshead-Makar, Esq., CEO of Champion Women, notes that sex discrimination must be viewed as seriously as race discrimination, which the NBA Board of Governors recently used as cause for terminating an ownership interest. “Isiah Thomas’ appointment as president and potential owner of the New York Liberty just shows how differently people perceive race discrimination and sex discrimination,” said Hogshead-Makar in an email to “Donald Sterling merely had a recording leaked where he made racist comments, and he was forced to sell the Clippers. Yet a jury found, after an extensive, well-covered trial, that Isiah Thomas sexually harassed Anucha Browne Sanders, and awarded her $11.6 million in damages against the Knicks enterprise. Sterling made racist remarks to his girlfriend, whereas Thomas sexually harassed Browne Sanders repeatedly. Sterling made racist remarks in the privacy of his own home, while Thomas sexually harassed Browne Sanders publicly. If Thomas had made equally as racist remarks, he would never be considered for a position in professional sports, anywhere.”) Forbes story... read more

Why The Number Of Gender-Related Athletics Discrimination Complaints Is Rapidly Increasing

BY Travis Waldron, Think Progress (“There’s no new news. We have a very strong statute, the regulations that interpret that statute are really clear, and we have case law that says unequivocally and repeatedly that equal means equal,” Hogshead-Makar said. “And yet you have, every way you measure it, these great big disparities.”  The question Hogshead-Makar’s organization and others are trying to address now, she said, is how to address the problems on a broad scale rather than on a case-by-case basis. “The idea is, how do you get change to scale?” she said. “We do the one-offs. But one-offs inform the bigger projects of how you get change to scale.” Champion Women and other groups are working to inform schools that are non-compliant of their problems and how widespread the problems are. The hope is to shine light on the disparities not just for athletics officials but for everyone involved on campuses in a way that will drive awareness of the scale of the problem. While enforcement from outside bodies, including OCR, is still necessary, the onus, ultimately, is on schools to follow a law they should already be in compliance with, Hogshead-Makar said. “There’s nothing to argue about” when it comes to equal opportunities and facilities for girls and women, she said. “The law is not that hard.”)  Think Progress story... read more

Boxer Mayweather’s violent history ignored, women’s advocates say

by Steve Ginsburg Former Olympic swimming champion Nancy Hogshead, who is now chief executive of Champion Women, an advocacy group for girls and women in sports, said Mayweather has gotten “a pass” on his history of domestic violence. She said boxing promoters look the other way toward violence in the home. “I’m not surprised about their attitude,” she said. “They won’t even try to make the sport safer, try to do what football is doing, trying to prevent cases of ALS [or Lou Gehrig’s disease] from the repeated hits to the head.”)  Reuters story... read more

The real March Madness: When will women’s teams get equal buzz?

By Kelly Wallace, CNN (I met Nancy Hogshead-Makar, a three-time Olympic gold medalist in swimming, during a spectacular and inspirational women’s conference last week called Generation W, where I moderated panels on issues affecting women. “This connection with sports and masculinity is a very tough nut to crack. People have been trying to crack it for a long time,” said Hogshead-Makar, who has devoted her career to the advancement of girls and women in sports. Why has coverage of women’s sports stopped post-Olympics? More than 40 years after the enactment of Title IX, a law that says that any school receiving federal funds cannot discriminate based on sex, there are still huge disparities, she said, with men getting $190 million more per year in college athletic scholarships than women. “It’s appalling what these huge differences are. Any fifth-grader can walk into your average high school or college softball baseball facility and say, ‘Duh, that’s not equal.’ “ Hogshead-Makar, who is chief executive officer of the advocacy group Champion Women, said even though Title IX requires that women get the same access to media and support that men get, it’s not happening. “The coupling of sexism and sport, having this be an exclusionary practice, is still a strong one,” said the 1984 Olympic champion. Hogshead-Makar, the former Olympic champion, told me about a case she recently learned about involving dramatically unequal facilities for the women’s softball and men’s baseball teams at a public high school in Indiana. “It tells the baseball players you’re more important,” she said. “That’s equally as unhealthy, as for a girl to hear that she’s not as important as for him to hear that he’s more important.” “When... read more

Mo’ne Davis’ life has been wild, crazy since LLWS

by Amy Rosewater, Special for USA TODAY Sports (“If people are really overwhelmed by what a great athlete Mo’ne is, and she is a great athlete, they are not seeing the many women out there who are also great athletes,” said Nancy Hogshead-Makar, an Olympic gold medalist swimmer and women’s sports advocate as CEO of Champion Women. “ Billie Jean King burst out of her place when she beat Bobby Riggs but she was playing just as exceptionally when she played against women. What Mo’ne did was truly extraordinary, but it’s important to recognize that women are not only valuable when they play in a men’s league.”)  USA Today story... read more