When Title IX was signed into law on on June 23, 1972, equality for women was ensured across all educational programs, including athletics.
In celebration of the law’s 40th anniversary, the Phoenix Mercury will honor and celebrate all women who were impacted by the legislation. The season-long initiative will recognize the effect it has had on women in the sports and business world.
Ann Meyers Drysdale, Phoenix Suns and Mercury vice president, felt the impact of the law passing first-hand when she was the first woman to receive a full athletic scholarship for basketball at the University of California Los Angeles in 1975.
“Playing collegiate sports anywhere other than a local college, let alone receiving a free education for it, wasn’t even in the realm of possibilities for me,” said Meyers Drysdale in a press release. “Celebrating how far we’ve come in 40 years is a great accomplishment. Whether women played sports in college or were finally allowed to participate in the sport of their choice on the high school level, it’s worthy of recognition.”
Anyone with a story of how Title IX benefitted them, a friend or family member is invited to submit it online at phoenixmercury.com and join in the celebration at the Mercury’s June 23 game. All who submit an entry will receive a free ticket to the game and take part in an on-court recognition at halftime.
“Title IX made sports a viable option for women and girls. Growing up playing sports, my role model was Larry Bird. Now my nieces can grow up idolizing Diana Taurasi and DeWanna Bonner. Being a pro basketball player is a real option for them,” said President and Chief Operating Officer Amber Cox in a press release.
The 2012 season tips off May 20 on the road against the defending WNBA Champion Minnesota Lynx. The club’s home opener is Saturday, May 26 at 7 p.m. vs. conference rival Los Angeles Sparks.