Jackie Joyner-Kersee talks about Title IX impact on women’s sports

Sports

USA’s Jackie Joyner-Kersee of Canago Park, Calif., runs with an American flag after winning the gold in the women’s heptathlon at the Olympic Games in Barcelona on Sunday, August 2, 1992. (AP Photo/David Longstreath)

Title IX, the landmark federal law that banned gender discrimination in education programs that receive federal money and paved the way for equal opportunity to high school and college sports programs, is set to celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2022.

But as the furor over the NCAA’s handling of amenities for the women’s basketball tournament compared to the men’s tournament has shown, some may say 1972 doesn’t seem so long ago.

Without that legislation, and later an important coach, it’s easy to wonder if one of the most decorated Olympic Track and Field athletes would have ever been seen.

East St. Louis native Jackie Joyner-Kersee, the six-time Olympic medalist, remembers wanting to participate in sports during grammar school before Title IX, except the gym teacher wouldn’t let her, advising her to move to cheerleading.

She found her way to sports primarily through youth activities outside of school, including the AAU.

Joyner-Kersee talked about her journey during “Title IX – The Landmark Legislation That Transformed American Sports”, an online event sponsored by The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum held Thursday night.

Once in high school, with Title IX now the law, there were girls sports, but due to facility conflicts, girls practiced at 6:30pm each night, a time of day Joyner-Kersee’s mother wasn’t fond of, to the point where she considered pulling her daughter out.

Nino Fennoy, her high school girls track and field coach, was a key figure, pointing to what was possible. “Girls can do this,” Joyner-Kersee said he implored back then. “There is a place for women in sports.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

St. Louis Sports

FOX2 Sports is your home for the latest information about the St. Louis Cardinals, the St. Louis Blues, Saint Louis University, the University of Missouri, and the University of Illinois.

Are the Cardinals making a big trade? Are the Blues ready for another Stanley Cup run? Is someone going to sign a major free-agent deal? Are the Tigers, Billikens and Illini bringing in the next big recruiting class? We cover all the big games that matter.

The MLS is coming to St. Louis in 2023 and we’ll be here for the start of STL SC too. The XFL thrived in its reboot season playing at the Dome at America’s Center, and if the BattleHawks return in 2022, we’ll be there to tackle it.

St. Louis is home to some of the best high school student-athletes who go on to succeed in the pros and beyond. Before Larry Hughes, Bradley Beal and Jayson Tatum made a name for themselves as Division I NCAA basketball stars at SLU, Florida, and Duke, they played at CBC and Chaminade. Before Ezekiel Elliott, Sheldon Richardson and Jeremy Maclin became Ohio State Buckeyes and Missouri Tigers and NFL first-round draft picks, they went to John Burroughs, Gateway Tech and Kirkwood. All of them were featured in the FOX2 Prep Zone before they went off to the SEC, Big 12, Big Ten and beyond.

Members of our team, including Sports Director Martin Kilcoyne, Charlie Marlow, and Rich Gould have covered every significant moment in St. Louis sports since 1987, from the football Cardinals’ departure for Arizona to the arrival of the St. Louis Rams; from the Mark McGwire home run chase to the Cardinals’ World Series titles, to the St. Louis Rams and the Greatest Show on Turf era’s Super Bowl crown; from Brett Hull to Vladimir Tarasenko, we’ve covered the Blues all the way to the team’s first Stanley Cup.

Think of all the great characters in St. Louis area sports history. Jack Buck, Mike Shannon, Charlie Spoonhour, Norm Stewart, Whitey Herzog, Tony LaRussa, Stan Musial, Dick Vermiel, Lou Brock, Albert Pujols, Kurt Warner, Ozzie Smith, Hull, Pat Maroon, Keith Tkachuk, Yadier Molina, Adam Wainwright, David Freese. All of them talk to us.

Popular

Latest News

More News