Title IX Night on June 23 Spotlights 50th Anniversary of Landmark Amendment

MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL – The Minnesota Lynx will celebrate the anniversary of Title IX on Thursday, June 23, 50 years to the date since it’s passing on June 23, 1972. Minnesota hosts the Phoenix Mercury at Target Center with tipoff set for 7 p.m. CT.  

The passing of Title IX prohibited sex discrimination against students and employees in educational programs and activities receiving federal funds. Per Minnesota Sports and Events, since it’s passing, female participation in high school sports has grown by 1057% and by 614% at the collegiate level. Fortune estimates that 95% of Fortune 500 CEOs played sports. While only 6% of Fortune 500 CEOs are women, the proportion of women CEOs who were athletes is similar – 90% of them played sports at some point and 54% played sports at the university level.   

Title IX Night presented by Target will include the following:  

Cape giveaway: a Title IX cape with “Believing in Women Since 1972” will be given to the first 3,000 fans in attendance.  

50th anniversary warm-up shirts: players, coaches and staff will wear a special warm-up to commemorate the anniversary.  

In-game recognition: as part of the Lynx Inspiring Women series, three women will be recognized for their significant contributions in advancing equity and blazing a trail for girls and women. Individuals include: Dr. Mary Jo Kane, Gloria Perez and Ann Bancroft.  

Dr. Kane is the Founder and former Director of the Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport at the University of Minnesota. She has published extensively on media representations of women’s sports and social impact of Title IX. She is a past recipient of the Scholar of the Year award from the Women’s Sports Foundation. Dr. Kane is known as an expert on passage, implementation and enforcement and impact of Title IX. 

Perez is President and CEO of the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota (WFMN), where she leads the first statewide women’s foundation in the country. WFMN has distributed more than $31 million through community investments, conducts ongoing research on the status of women and girls in Minnesota and advocates for public policy that results in greater economic security and safety for women and their families. 

Bancroft is one of the world’s preeminent polar explorers becoming the first woman to cross both the North and South Poles. She pushed her high school to offer sports for girls so she and others could participate in tennis, track, cross country and basketball, and field hockey and crew in college. In 1991 she founded the Ann Bancroft Foundation, which empowers girls to imagine something bigger through grants, mentorship, and ongoing development opportunities.   

Nike Game Growers: High school students, Claire and Lila participated in Nike’s 2020 “Game Growers” program, which invites 7th and 8th grade girls to collaborate with a WNBA or NBA team to help grow the game for girls. The two girls hosted the Minnesota Basketball Summit during the weekend of the 2022 NCAA Women’s Final Four in Minneapolis.   

Community gift: Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport will be recognized with a community gift. The organization is an interdisciplinary research center leading a global effort to accelerate change for girls and women in sport and physical activity and their families and communities. 

Hear from our players and coaches on the impact of Title IX: watch on Lynx social channels.  

“Advancing the equity of not only girls and women’s athletics but equity among all will always be paramount to who the Lynx are as an organization,” said Lynx President of Business Operations Carley Knox. “We’re incredibly excited to celebrate this momentous anniversary of the amendment that ultimately resulted in the creation of women’s professional athletics in our country. Although Title IX legislation does not directly influence the WNBA, it has allowed countless girls and women to pursue and realize their dreams within sports and beyond. We’ve seen tremendous progress as a result of Title IX and the Lynx remain committed to leveraging this amendment and fighting for equity for all.”  

Additionally, Timberwolves and Lynx Owner Glen Taylor, Lynx Head Coach and General Manager Cheryl Reeve and Lynx players Rachel Banham and Maya Moore were named to the Title IX Honor Roll, recognizing 50 athletes, coaches, administrators, media and supporters for their contributions to women’s athletics in Minnesota. Honorees were chosen via a selection committee formed by the Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport at the University of Minnesota as part of the 2022 NCAA Women’s Final Four.   

Tickets for Thursday’s game are available at www.lynxbasketball.com/tickets