NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Sports Illustrated’s June issue centers on the legislation that helped women take their first strides toward leveling the playing field in sports. In 1972, Title IX recognized gender equity in education as a civil right and altered women’s sports forever. Influential voices at the forefront of the equality conversation – from powerful athletes to impactful citizens – are celebrated in the issue on newsstands now and SI.com through the Title IX anniversary. Also in this issue, a first-person essay from Big East Commissioner Val Ackerman on how far we’ve come and how far we have left to go, Jon Wertheim on French Open favorite Rafael Nadal and the secret army of a 320-pound dominant pro wrestler.
On the Cover: Results of a special user-generated cover illustration featuring moments that happened #BecauseOfTitleIX from dozens of everyday athletes and women’s sports icons such as Billie Jean King, Serena Williams and Mo’Ne Davis.
Title IX Features
- 50 Years of Title IX: In 1972, no one dreamed a dry, 37-word clause tucked inside new education legislation would reshape women’s sports forever. A half-century later, it’s time to reflect on how far the quest for equality has come—and where it still has to go from Maggie Mertens.
- The Torch Carriers: A photo act featuring nine exclusive portraits of today’s voices advancing equality efforts that Title IX set in motion: Allyson Felix, Kim Woozy, Blake Bolden, Sedona Prince, Olivia Moultrie, Clarissa Chun, Angela Ruggiero, Ifeoma Onumonu and Candace Parker with text by Jamie Lisanti.
- Pioneers to Remember: In the early years of Title IX, the forgotten heroes challenged bias and championed equality, but not all at once and not without resistance. Senior writer Howard Beck profiles basketball’s Luisa Harris, the first truly dominant player of the women’s game, John Walters recounts humble beginnings with the 1985 U.S. Soccer Women’s National Team, and track and field’s Joetta Clark and softball coach Carol Hutchins are spotlighted by Jamie Lisanti.
- The Next Frontiers: Title IX helped women take their first strides toward leveling the playing field in sports. Now, some new battlegrounds and issues will define the future of the gender equality conversation, including Media Coverage, Sports Merchandising, Equal Pay, Transgender Athletes, and the Fan Experience, as explained by Jamie Lisanti, Emma Baccellieri, Kristen Nelson, and Julie Kliegman.
- A League of Their Own: Women’s college sports were governed by women for one decade. As those sports proved to be popular and profitable, the NCAA took notice and schools had to choose: go with the AIAW or the NCAA. Mark Bechtel reviews how the AIAW is now lost to the NCAA, which hasn’t always been as supportive as it should be.
June Issue Features
- Rafa: Nearly 36, Rafael Nadal has become the elder statesman tennis desperately needs, according to Jon Wertheim. He’ll be much more than that at the French Open: Nadal will be the favorite to win his record 22nd Grand Slam title.
- Secret Army: In the 1940s, 320-pound Frank Simmons Leavitt (fans knew him as Man Mountain Dean) was a dominant pro wrestler and rising movie star – the Rock of his day. But Man Mountain had a secret side hustle that has only come to light as military documents have been declassified in recent years: helping train US Army intelligence offers for the fight against the Nazis, by Jon Wertheim.
Also in this issue:
- Leading Off: Big East commissioner and pioneering sports executive Val Ackerman’s first-person essay on the meaning of Title IX.
- SI Gameplan: Mark Bechtel reviews Howard Bryant’s new Rickey Henderson biography.
- SI Eats: Rohan Nadkarni on Jimmy Butler’s coffee obsession.
- SI Full Frame: a classic shot from MJ’s Flu Game, 25 years ago this spring.
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