TEMPLE, Texas — One law had one purpose. To change the scope of women’s sports … forever.
“There are women before us who are still alive that had to fight for what we have the privilege of now," Amber Taylor, Temple College head women's basketball coach, said. "They were not allowed to do what we were allowed to do. I think it's looking back on the past, being mindful of the past and appreciating what we have now.”
On June 23rd, 1972, Title IX was passed to fight for gender equality and expand women’s access to sports.
"Obviously that’s the purpose of Title IX to give women the same opportunities as men had," Taylor said. "Once Title IX was passed, women were able to go to college and play basketball. Before that it didn’t happen.”
Before 1972, women's sports were underfunded, controlled and disapproved of. Athletic scholarships for women were unheard of and respect for female athletes was hard to find.
“I feel like athletics are all about men's sports and everything. Title IX has really broadened women's sports," Kendra Foreman, UMHB women's basketball assistant coach and former two-year letter winner for the Cru basketball team, said. "People come and watch women’s sports now. I feel like it gave us a voice.”
It gave women a voice that before didn’t exist. But one community college in Temple, Texas tried to change that.
"Temple College actually had a basketball program in 1963 before Title IX was passed. And actually in 1975 won a national championship," Taylor said. "Since then the school has only hired women's head coaches to be the women's basketball coach. Temple College has been at the forefront of women’s athletics.”
The females from generations before paved a way for a brighter future.
"Once they were able to play. They were able to coach and be on the sideline," Taylor said. "It was a carry-over effect ... We need to respect the past, and know that without the past we’re not where we are today."
We now see a world with females slowly starting to take over the sidelines. It's becoming a norm instead of a rarity.
“I’m just glad that now Title IX has given women, in general, the opportunity to do what they want to do," Foreman said. "Especially in high school we’re now seeing girls playing football, so it’s pretty cool.”
Girls may be playing football and females may be coaching on the sidelines, but there is still progress to be made.
"Women's sports aren't exactly where they need to be, but we’re farther down the road than we were 50 years ago," Taylor said. "I think equal pay would probably be the next thing we need to look at.”
We are far from equality in sports, but steps are being made in the right direction.
“Title IX gives everybody an opportunity," Foreman said. "Everybody deserves an opportunity to do what they want to do.”
50 years of progress, and 50 more to go.
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