Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Purpose of "Not Afraid to Flex"

The purpose of this blog is simple. Over the past 35 years, the number of girls participating in organized athletics has exploded. Why? When Title IX legislation was passed 35 years ago, it was the beginning of a movement. Girls were (supposed to be) able to access athletics in a way they never had before. Women's athletics were (supposed to be) protected by the law, and not merely subjected to the whim of male administrators in the Athletic Department. We've made enormous progress since then and we've celebrated it along the way. And yet, the world of women in sports continues to struggle. The WNBA fights to make a slim profit (compared to the monstrous success of the NBA), WUSA tanked just three years after its conception, and women's sports teams and organizations everywhere battle to stay afloat.

I want to shed light on past, present, and future issues for women in sports. I want to explore more than just the athlete...I want to know about the people, the money, and the strategies behind these athletes and their organizations. What about that small number of women with the title "Athletic Director" on their resume? What about those women who sell the tickets and monitor the press releases for a WNBA team? And why do girls keep tearing their ACL's? Why haven't we seen a woman coaching a men's university basketball team yet? Which organizations are successfully supporting women's athletics...and on the other hand, which ones are failing miserably? What have we actually accomplished in these 35 years, and what is the next step for women everywhere who aspire to make sports the focus of their lives? In other words, now what?

Some of you may have been out on the field sprinting in full length dresses before "woman" and "athlete" could be uttered in the same sentence. Others of you may have been activists on the front lines who pushed Title IX legislation through to success. Some of you waged less visible battles at home to encourage your daughters to get out and play, even when there weren't any other girls out there. And still others (like me) were born at just the right time--growing up in the aftermath of this legislation when girls were given more opportunities than ever before to follow their passions on the court, on the field, on the track, and just about everywhere else.

I hope that this blog can be a resource for you, whether you're an athlete, CEO, coach, Athletic Director, soccer mom, or fan. I want to uncover past mysteries, keep you posted on current events, and begin to bridge connections that span across all the issues related to women in sports. I want this blog to educate, enlighten, and empower everyone who has an interest in understanding the real progress that women have made. I want these stories to remind all of us, from the 6-year-old soccer player to the 6-figure sports executive, that we are "Not Afraid To Flex."

No comments: