Open letter from Commissioner George Kliavkoff to Pac-12 student-athletes on Title IX
Dear Pac-12 Student-Athletes,
Today marks the 50th Anniversary of Title IX, which is arguably the single most important piece of legislation in the modern history of women’s sports in the United States.
Thanks to Title IX, countless women have been afforded the opportunity to participate in college sports and pursue their athletic dreams who previously were denied this right.
Title IX states that “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”
These 37 words have enabled some of the greatest women athletes of our time to participate, excel and become icons and leaders in our society. And they have enabled millions of women to experience the power of sport, teamwork and competition that has positively impacted their personal and professional growth.
Equality is one of the most sacred principles of our society, and for those of us who have the privilege to work in sports, equality and non-discrimination are the most core of values.
As the father of both a son and daughter, the idea that they would not have the same opportunities to chase their dreams is unimaginable, but this was the reality for so many women prior to Title IX.
Over the past year I have had the privilege of meeting hundreds of you, our student-athletes, at the Pac-12, both men and women. And I am blown away by your intelligence, drive, vision, commitment and dedication to both academics and athletics. But most importantly, you are without fail young people focused on your futures, your dreams, and your abilities to impact our communities in a positive way.
You are our future leaders. Thanks to Title IX - while we still have a ways to go and the fight is not over – women across our country for the past 50 years have had the opportunity to live their dreams through sport, and to take those experiences and the lessons of sport, to become leaders in whatever walks of life they have and will go on to pursue.
So on this very special anniversary, I want to thank you for all that you are, all that you do, and all that you will do to make the world we live in a better place.