Examining the Ability of Title IX to Provide Equitable Participation Opportunities for Black Women College Athletes
Keywords:Title IX and Black women, Black women in NCAA sports, gender equity in college athletics
The purpose of this study was to reveal Title IX fueled obstacles which prevent Black women from achieving equity in college sports. The researchers sought to provide a critical analysis of the synchronous burden of race and gender discrimination experienced by Black women in college sports. The study found this form of discrimination is unique to Black women as they experience sex discrimination similar to white women and race discrimination similar to Black men, but neither white women or Black men experience simultaneous forms of race and gender discrimination as Black women do (Crenshaw 1988; Mathewson; 1996). Title IX is a single-axis equity law which uses sex to factor discrimination, yet as Black women experience both race and gender discrimination synchronously this law does not protect Black women from discrimination in the way they experience it. Yet, examining the effectiveness of Title IX to prevent race and sex discrimination is problematic because even with the law, schools have not achieved gender equity in college sports since its enactment in 1972 (Butler & Lopiano, 2003; Cooper & Newton, 2021;Kaplan, Hecker, & Fink, 2021; NWLC, 2022; Staurowsky, 2011; 2020; 2022). Another challenge is the NCAA Emerging Sports Program for Women uses a single axis lens to increase athletic opportunities for women. Therefore Black women are barred from benefiting from the increased access and athletic opportunities produced through the Emerging Sports program as it uses sex as a solo determinant to increase athletic opportunities. It is worth noting the extreme lack of research on Black women in sports has rendered Black women college athletes invisible in data on women’s sports (Butler & Lopiano, 2003; Carter-Francique & Flowers, 2013; Cooper & Newton, 2021; McDowell & Carter-Francique, 2017; Pickett et al, 2012; Staurowsky et al., 2021; 2022). This adds to the complexity of examining forms of discrimination experienced by Black women in college sports. The study found racial clustering, the single-axis lens of Title IX, and NCAA gender equity programs collectively provide harm to Black women in college sports and uniquely attack their ability to achieve equity in college sports.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Courtney Flowers, Jasmine Hamilton, Joyce Olushola Ogunrinde
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