That was the call from James Madison University athletes along with the Independent Women’s Forum and College Sports Council at a rally held outside the Department of Education yesterday. Both male and female athletes from teams that were cut and not cut by the recent Title IX decision at JMU attended the rally along with coaches, parents, and alumni. It was great to see such a large and diverse group of people come together to support these athletes.
As I said in my remarks (which are available online here) Title IX isn’t the problem – it’s the way it’s been interpreted and enforced. The current state of Title IX (a de facto quota system) goes against the spirit of Title IX. Both the House and Senate sponsors of Title IX ensured their fellow politicians and the public that quotas were in no way a part of Title IX – that the law only required that people be judged on merit and not on sex.
But Title IX has been distorted, with hundreds and hundreds of teams left in the Title IX graveyard, victims of artificial gender quotas. Cutting sports doesn’t benefit anyone – women or men. In the spirit of fairness, IWF was proud to be involved in yesterday’s event and call for common sense reform in Title IX enforcement which will serve both women and men.
Here at the IWF website, we’ve created a home for our Title IX activity. Check it out here. We’ll keep it up to date with the latest IWF commentary, events, press coverage, and podcasts concerning JMU and Title IX.
Thank you again to everyone who came out to the event. For those of you who missed it, be sure to check out this video and the pictures below. More pictures are available here.
The men and women’s swim teams pose for a shot after the rally. Only the men’s team was cut:
Male swimmer Tom Martin addresses the crowd with his mother Linda (spokeswoman for the -Save our Sports’ Coalition):
I address the crowd along with Mark Rinker, captain of the men’s track team. JMU athletes are in the background:
And, lastly, here is a general shot of the student-athletes in attendance: