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May 13, 2022

FIERCE AND FEARLESS

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Olympic Rugby Star Ilona Maher Is Changing The Mental Health Conversation, One TikTok At A Time

  • If you have TikTok, chances are you’ve seen Ilona Maher on your For You Page as she is a champion of supporting mental health and body positivity.
  • Maher’s journey to becoming as outspoken as she is started when she posted her first few videos.

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An Inside Look Into Haute Hijab's Noor Suleiman

  • GoodSport sat down with Noor Suleiman, the woman marketing the Sports Hijab, to discuss her feelings that come with faith, the (s)heroes she’s met along the way, her hopes for her daughter, and working collectively to keep sports open to everyone.

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The Kentucky Derby: An Unknown Pioneer For Women In Sports

  • The Kentucky Derby is one of the most famous horse racing events in the world, but the female representation in the jockey community is small.
  • As it grows, it is important to remember the pioneers of the sport.

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WNBA superstar Brittney Griner remains imprisoned in Russia after being detained at a Moscow airport for possession of vape cartridges containing cannabis oil, and continues to be held on drug-smuggling charges, a crime that carries a sentence of up to ten years. For the full story, check out this GoodSport article here.

THE BIZ

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Industry News Breakdown

Welcome to The Biz, where we highlight female-focused news in the sports industry.

Notable Moments

  • While playing at St James’ Park for the first time, Newcastle drew the largest crowd (22,134) of any women's soccer match in the UK this year.
  • As Brittney Griner remains detained in Russia, the WNBA will post a special logo in her honor across all twelve courts and pay her salary in full for the year.
  • The International Skating Union is looking to raise the minimum age for competing in major events, like the Olympics, from 15 to 17.
  • Serena Williams is about to be the first female athlete billionaire. This comes from not only her amazing tennis career but the business moves she’s been making — she also had a whopping 1-million-square foot building named after her at the Nike World Headquarters.
  • Angel City FC won their first-ever match as a new franchise in front of a sold-out crowd of 22,000.

Partnerships

  • Through a landmark deal with UKG, which will provide over $1 million in player bonuses, the NWSL’s Challenge Cup makes history as the first women’s pro soccer tournament that has achieved pay equity (in the U.S.).
  • The WNBA and Twitter have agreed upon a multi-year extension. This is the 6th year working together, with the plan to live stream 12 games this season.
  • The W Series announced a new broadcast partnership with ESPN.
  • The Mamba and Mamacita Foundation partnered with BodyArmor to renovate courts across 10 cities in the U.S. and also donated $24 million.
  • Carli Lloyd and Kevin Durant’s Thirty Five Ventures become minority owners of the NJ/NY Gotham.
  • The Los Angeles Sparks sign a multi-year deal with UCLA Health, making it their official healthcare partner.
  • Athletes Unlimited announced a two-year deal with ESPN.

Watch + Listen

  • Athletes Unlimited and TEDx Boston will be teaming up on May 16 for a series of live conversations around women’s sports.
  • Wave Sports + Entertainment debuts a new series dedicated to the WNBA called, “The BUCKETS Five”.
  • On May 29th, the NCAA Lacrosse Championship will be nationally televised for the first time on ESPN.
  • W Series Miami highlights — this all-female single-seater racing series is headed to Barcelona next.
  • Watch and support the current WNBA and NWSL seasons.

Sources

  • TheGist USA, Just Women’s Sports, Togethxr, Front Office Sports, Sporttechie, HighlightHER, Sports Video Group, Athletes Unlimited

MORE HEADLINES...

The Third Most Watched Sports Franchise in the World Is Planning a Women's League

WNBA Stars Grace SI Swimsuit Edition After Reaching Milestones In Opening Weekend

Fifty Years Later, Title IX Slogan ‘Give Women A Sporting Chance’ Still Propels Advocates

CELEBRATING 50 YEARS OF TITLE IX

GoodSport is celebrating 50 years of Title IX and its everlasting impact on women’s sports by sharing the stories of past, present, and future women leading up to the June 23, 2022 anniversary.

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Simone Biles

At the 2020 Tokoyo Olympics, gymnast and Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles came received heavy backlash when she stepped down from the competition to focus on her mental health. In an interview with Olympic.com, Biles stated that "It's really important to use that support system and know they're there for you and not against you, because at the end of the day, us as humans, we hate asking for help. We think we can do it on our own, but sometimes we just can't. So use every outlet given to you." Biles' new advocacy platform comes a few years after she revealed she was a victim of sexual abuse by a former team doctor.

At the 2020 Tokoyo Olympics, gymnast and Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles came received heavy backlash when she stepped down from the competition to focus on her mental health. In an interview with Olympic.com, Biles stated that "It's really important to use that support system and know they're there for you and not against you, because at the end of the day, us as humans, we hate asking for help. We think we can do it on our own, but sometimes we just can't. So use every outlet given to you." Biles' new advocacy platform comes a few years after she revealed she was a victim of sexual abuse by a former team doctor.

At the 2020 Tokoyo Olympics, gymnast and Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles came received heavy backlash when she stepped down from the competition to focus on her mental health. In an interview with Olympic.com, Biles stated that "It's really important to use that support system and know they're there for you and not against you, because at the end of the day, us as humans, we hate asking for help. We think we can do it on our own, but sometimes we just can't. So use every outlet given to you." Biles' new advocacy platform comes a few years after she revealed she was a victim of sexual abuse by a former team doctor.

When Title IX was passed in 1972, it focused on "proportionality," which ended discrimination based on sex in educational institutions, including athletic departments. The fight still continues today for equality in sports, however, Title IX also oversees sexual harassment cases within athletics, and unfortunately, some athletes, like Biles, have been victims of horrendous crimes.

Biles is known for her impressive athletism and the difficult skills she showcases, but Biles and other gymnasts made headlines as victims of Larry Nassar, former national medical doctor for USA Gymnastics. Nassar was also currently working for the University of Michigan as well as high school and club gymnastic teams prior to his arrest.

Less than 10% of sexual assaults on college campuses are actually reported,” said Tracy Vitchers, executive director of It’s On Us, a nonprofit organization that fights campus sexual assault. “If it’s [done by] somebody that’s high profile within the community, the likelihood that that person faces consequences is low. It usually takes a major news story or a breaking point for action to be taken.”

Fortunately, Nassar was finally convicted on multiple counts of sexual abuse — he is currently serving a sentence that "far exceeds human life expectancy" — however, Biles, along with former national teammates McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman, and Maggie Nichols, spoke out against how the investigation was handled by the FBI, and how the women were treated while they were giving their statements on the abused they experienced from Nassar. While a lawsuit was recently filed against the FBI by 13 of Nassar's victims, it doesn't fix the irreparable damage done to many of the survivor's mental health.

“We suffered and continue to suffer because no one at FBI, USAG or the USOPC did what was necessary to protect us,” Biles said. “We have been failed, and we deserve answers. Nassar is where he belongs, but those who enabled him deserve to be held accountable. If they are not, I am convinced that this will continue to happen to others across Olympic sports.”

STATS THAT MATTER

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Stats That Matter: Mental Health And Athletes

  • In recent times, athletes have spoken about their struggles with mental health in hopes of helping themselves and others. However, there is still a long way to go.
  • Approximately one in five adults lives with a mental health condition, according to Athletes for Hope.
  • The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) also reported that 30 percent of female college athletes and 25 percent of male college athletes report having anxiety, but only 10 percent who know they have anxiety or another condition will seek help.
  • Professionally, about 35 percent of athletes have come forward and spoken about their mental health. These conditions can manifest themselves in many ways, such as stress, burnout, eating disorders, or depression and anxiety.

BEFORE YOU GO, GIF US A SECOND

The WNBA is back! The first week of the new season saw tons of action from all of the teams in the league. The Las Vegas Aces currently sit in first place with a record of 3-0. We have seen a bunch of young stars come into their own, like NaLyssa Smith, who currently sits at fifth on the leaderboards for rebounds per game with 11. Who do you think is going to have a breakout year this season?


April 27, 2022

FIERCE AND FEARLESS

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Kelley O'Hara: The Champion For Women's Sports Podcasting

  • USWNT’s Kelley O’Hara and Just Women’s Sports launched a podcast to talk to prominent female athletes.
  • The series has grown and evolved into “The Players’ Pod”, a series of conversations with some of the best athletes, coaches, and business people in the women's sports industry.

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As War Continues In Ukraine, Oksana Masters Reflects On Her Birth Country

  • Oksana Masters is one of the best and the most decorated Paralympic athletes for Team USA but was adopted from Ukraine as a child.
  • As her native country continues to fight against oppression, Masters reflects on competition as a Ukrainian-American.

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Is Pillow Fighting The Newest Combat Sport?

  • The Pillow Fight Championship held its first live pay-per-view event in Florida earlier this year on Jan. 29.
  • But how did a game played between friends growing up turn into a professional combat sport?

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WNBA superstar Brittney Griner remains imprisoned in Russia after being detained at a Moscow airport for possession of vape cartridges containing cannabis oil, continues to be held on drug-smuggling charges, a crime that carries a sentence of up to ten years. For the full story, check out this GoodSport article here.

THE BIZ

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Industry News Breakdown

Welcome to The Biz, where we highlight female-focused news in the sports industry.

Notable Moments

  • Jackson State’s Ameshya Williams-Holliday became the second-highest draft pick coming from an HBCU in the history of the WNBA. Williams-Holliday also made history as the first HBCU athlete drafted in 20 years.
  • Amanda Kessel was the Pittsburgh Penguins' first hire in their new Executive Management Program.
  • New NBC Sports hire and five-time Emmy winner, Lindsay Schanzer, will become the first woman to produce the Kentucky Derby telecast in the entire history of the race.
  • Barcelona broke its own attendance record for a women’s football match during its recent game with 91,648 fans.
  • Allyson Felix’s footwear brand, Saysh, announced a new return policy allowing women to exchange their shoes for a new size if their feet change during pregnancy.
  • 21-year-old Shyra Johnson became the youngest certified sports agent after passing her NBA agent exam.
  • Women are now one-third of the NBA’s audience.
  • Athletes Unlimited is the first pro league to also be a public benefit corporation.

Partnerships

  • WHOOP partnered with Voice in Sport and released a new color band called, “VIS BLUE”. A portion of the band sales go towards funding girls in the VIS program.
  • Serena Williams’ ‘Serena Ventures’ invested in Karat with the goal of doubling the number of Black software engineers in the U.S. Williams also recently joined Lewis Hamilton’s bid to buy Chelsea FC.

Watch + Listen

  • Puma’s #SheMovesUs interview series
  • Kelley O’Hara’s newly branded podcast with Just Women’s Sports, “The Player’s Pod”
  • Coming up on May 8, the NCAA Women’s Water Polo Championship will be broadcasted on national television (ESPNU + ESPN App) for the first time in over a decade.
  • Round 1 of the W Series (all-female single-seater racing) will take place in Miami from May 6-8.
  • Keep an eye out for Togethxr’s commercials during NWSL games this season.
  • On April 30, boxers Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano will be the first female fighters to face off at Madison Square Garden.

Sources

  • TheGist, Togethxr, ESPN, HighlightHER, ShotClock Media, Front Office Sports, Just Women’s Sports, On Her Turf

MORE HEADLINES...

After Being Vetoed Last Year The Fairness In Women’s Sports Act Passes In The Senate

Billie Jean King Among Backers Of New Incubator Focused On Women's Sports

NSWRL Celebrates Women In Sport Leadership Graduates

CELEBRATING 50 YEARS OF TITLE IX

GoodSport is celebrating 50 years of Title IX and its everlasting impact on women’s sports by sharing the stories of past, present, and future women leading up to the June 23, 2022 anniversary.

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Bonnie St. John

  • Historically, Black athletes have been noticeably absent at the Winter Olympics as well as the Winter Paralympics due to the lack of accessibility people of color face in regards to winter sports.
  • Bonnie St. John however was determined to beat the odds and has been talked about as one of the five most inspirational women in America, even becoming an advocate for getting people to pay more attention to the Paralympic Games.

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STATS THAT MATTER

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The 2022 NCAA Gymnastics Championship set records as the most-watched gymnastics meet on ESPN with 1.1 million viewers.

This increase in viewership of women's sports came on the heels of the Women's College Basketball National Championships when it broke records not only as the first women's tournament in history branded with the “March Madness” name, but also had the most viewership for a college basketball game on ESPN, men’s or women’s since 2008 with 4.85 million viewers and it peaked at 5.91 million.

This is an important step in the women’s sports movement and is a testament to what the movement embodies — growing viewership and raising visibility. For a deeper look into the timeline of viewership of women's sports, click the link below.

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BEFORE YOU GO, GIF US A SECOND

Last Sunday, Nasa Hataoka of Japan won the Dio Implant LA Open with a final score of 15-under par. This is Hataoka's sixth LPGA title, and at the age of 23, she is showing the future talent of young golfers. Hataoka almost broke the tournament record of 16-under with her final score, previously set by competitor Brooke Henderson in 2021.


April 12, 2022

FIERCE AND FEARLESS

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Sports World Remains Quiet As Brittney's Griner's Detainment Continues In Russia

  • Forty days following her arrest by authorities at a Moscow airport for possession of vape cartridges containing cannabis oil, WNBA superstar Brittney Griner remains imprisoned in Russia.
  • Despite being held on drug-smuggling charges, a crime that carries a sentence of up to ten years, media coverage and public attention for the two-time Olympic Gold Medalist and seven-time WNBA All-Star has been largely absent.

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The Incredibly Enigmatic Megan Rapinoe

  • Megan Rapinoe is much more than just a soccer star on the United States Women's National Team — she is a vocal social activist who never shies away from controversy.
  • Rapinoe uses her platform to fight for equality in sports through race, gender, and sexuality, and as an openly gay woman, she fights tirelessly for LGBTQ+ rights, equal pay in sports, and political rights.

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THE BIZ

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Industry News Breakdown

Welcome to The Biz, where we highlight female-focused news in the sports industry.

Notable Moments

  • Howard University hired its first full-time female employee to the football staff — Janice Pettyjohn.
  • Kelsie Whitmore was signed to the Staten Island Ferryhawks, making her one of the first women to play professional baseball in almost 70 years.
  • The USL Super League announced its inaugural season in 2023 will align with the international women’s soccer calendar.
  • Cracker Jack introduces a new line of branding, “Cracker Jill”, in support of women’s sports.
  • The NFL recently went public with its plans to bring men's and women’s flag football to the Olympics.
  • Lisa Leslie launched her own real-estate firm with a team of sports professionals called "Aston Rose".
  • Dawn Staley became the first Black D1 coach to win multiple national championships.
  • Blanca Burns is the first Mexican-born female NBA official.

Partnerships

  • Serena Williams partners with Cash App as a means to increase financial freedom by making bitcoin more accessible. Serena Ventures recently invested in Lolli and Nestcoin.
  • Adidas partnered with soccer player Trinity Rodman on a children’s book called “Wake Up and Kick It.” With the U.S. Soccer Federation’s "Soccer for Success" program, Adidas will also donate 5,000 copies across different youth community programs.
  • The Atlanta Dream announced a landmark partnership with Microsoft.
  • Gloria Football, a soccer scouting app, has pledged $11 million to become a sponsor of Spain’s professional women’s soccer league.
  • USL-W League launched a global streaming partnership with Eleven Sports Media.
  • The WTA partners with Modern Health to offer services to its players and raise awareness around mental health.
  • Justworks became an official sponsor of the Premier Hockey Federation’s Isobel Cup playoffs.

NIL (Name, Image, Likeness)

  • Paige Bueckers signs a NIL deal with Chegg to help educate others about food insecurity.
  • Orangetheory Fitness’s first NIL deal goes to recent National Champ Aliyah Boston.

Watch + Listen

  • Chiney Ogwumike and ESPN Films “144” — it was just nominated for a Sports Emmy.
  • Keep an eye out for the WNBA’s first film, “We Are the W” — set to release before the 2022 season starts.
  • Everyone should watch “The Queen of Basketball'', a film about legend Lusia Harris, who passed away earlier this year. Harris was the only woman ever to be drafted into the NBA and the first Black woman inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame.

Invest. Invest. Invest.

  • With 4.85M viewers, the Women's NCAA Championship game was the most-watched college basketball game on ESPN since 2008.

MORE HEADLINES...

ESPN Announces Content For Fifty/50 Initiative Celebrating Fifty Years Of Title IX With Elements Across The Walt Disney Company

'It Has Come From An Authentic Place': Female Sports Execs Discuss Diversity And Inclusion In Their Leagues

World Rugby And Capgemini Strike Expanded Women’s Sponsorship Deal

CELEBRATING 50 YEARS OF TITLE IX

GoodSport is celebrating 50 years of Title IX and its everlasting impact on women’s sports by sharing the stories of past, present, and future women leading up to the June 23, 2022 anniversary.

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Billie Jean King

Billie Jean King is famously known as one of the greatest female tennis players in the world, but she's also known for her work off the court. King spent her time in the 1960s and 70s campaigning for equality for women in sports. In 1972, King turned her attention to Title IX and took to Captial Hill to testify on behalf of the law that would help end gender discrimination in high school and collegiate sports. Title IX was eventually signed into law on June 23, 1972.

Only a year following the enactment of Title IX, King found herself in a battle on the tennis court to prove not only her worth but the worth of all female athletes. Former Tennis Player Booby Riggs often said that the women's game was so inferior to the men's game that even he could beat any woman he faced on the court. Dubbed the "Battle of the Sexes," King and Riggs competed against one another in an exhibition match, and King walked away with a 6-4, 6-3, 6-3 victory and $100,000. As we know, it wasn't about the money for King, but she felt it was important that she secured the win for women's tennis and for the women's liberation movement.

"I thought it would set us back 50 years if I didn't win that match," King said. "It would ruin the women's tour and affect all women's self-esteem."

King was also a part of the "Original Nine" who formed the Virginia Slim series that would help end unequal pay between the men and women victors. Read GoodSport's feature for more information on the "Original Nine" here.

Other notable achievements for King include founding the Women's Tennis Association and Women's Sports Foundation.

STATS THAT MATTER

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The Day of Silence, an initiative by GLSEN will be held on April 22, 2022. The event is one of the largest student-run demonstrations in the United States where LGBTQ+ students and allies vow to be silent for one whole day to remember the countless LGBTQ+ students who have been been victims of harassment and discrimination.

One of the first female athletes to come out publicly and compete in their respective sport was tennis legend Billie Jean King in 1981. The times have changed since then, as many high-profile and prolific athletes have come out — names like Megan Rapinoe, Sue Bird, Renée Richards, and Sheryl Swoops all identify under the LGBTQ+ umbrella.

Even with these athletes out, there is still work to be done at the younger levels of athletics in order to create safe environments for LGBTQ+ athletes. A study done by UConn in partnership with the Human Rights Foundation found in 2018 that 80 percent of LGBQ athletes and 83 percent of transgender athletes aged 13-17 are not out to their coaches. Additionally, 24 percent of LGBTQ+ youth said that they play a sport, compared to 68 percent of non-LGBTQ+ athletes.

The NCAA has not done a survey of what percentage of its athletes are out LGBTQ+ individuals, but one of the most well-known LGBTQ+ athletes in college athletics currently is Oregon’s Sedona Prince. Most know Prince from her Tik Tok from the 2021 women’s NCAA basketball championship, where she exposed the inequities between the men’s and women’s tournaments, which have now been addressed. This led to the first-ever 68-team women's March Madness.

“I knew I was gay freshman year of high school, but I just didn’t accept it until I could really be who I wanted to be, and that was in college, when I was out of my hometown in a much bigger place with people I didn’t know," Prince said in an interview with OutSports in 2021. "And I’m like, ‘I’m just gonna be whoever I wanna be.’ I started realizing I love women and I’m gay, and it was big for me because I grew so much. Now I’m so open with my story and who I am as a person, my sexuality, for the purpose of hopefully helping other kids open up and be comfortable with who they are."

Off the field (or court), LGBTQ+ people are still at risk for hateful and rude comments. Another study done by the Human Rights Foundation found that 80 percent of spectators and athletes have witnessed anti-LGBTQ+ attitudes at games, 41 percent of that coming from the stands.

As The Day of Silence approaches, it is important to remember all athletes, out or not, and their strength and courage as they continue to compete while handling anti-LGBTQ behaviors, and support their causes for equality.

Click the link below for more stats that matter on LGBTQ+ athletes.

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BEFORE YOU GO, GIF US A SECOND

Ashlyn Harris, one of the most prominent LGBTQ+ athletes in professional soccer, was enjoying some good ol' twitter drama, after the Washington Spirit, an NWSL team tweeted a video to Harris' new team, Gotham FC. In the clip, Harris' wife and teammate Ali Kreger was beat on a good move by a Spirit player and fell on the pitch.

In the tweet, which you can view here, Harris is calling out the playing conditions of the field in Washington, which lead to the Sprit's Trinity Rodman responding to the goalkeeper with some displeasure. While the callout on Twitter might not be the best place to get your point across, Harris does bring up an important point: there are still inequities between the NWSL and the MLS, and one of the biggest ones is the conditions and grounds being play on. 

The GLSEN Day of Silence will be observed on April 22, 2022. Click the link below to find out how you can support, participate, and honor the day.

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March 25, 2022

FIERCE AND FEARLESS

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Cinderella Stories In The Making: Welcome To March Madness' Super Sweet 16

  • In the first two rounds of the Women’s March Madness Tournament, there were a lot of impressive sights to see.
  • There were massive upsets like Belmont beating Oregon in double overtime, and Creighton downing Iowa with a massive bucket from former Hawkeye Lauren Jensen.
  • There were also impressive single performances like Stanford’s Lexie Hull dropping 36 points over Kansas, and Notre Dame’s Olivia Miles becoming the first freshman to have a triple-double in NCAA tournament history.
  • As we wait for that to start, here are some players and teams to look out for later in the week.

READ MORE

THE BIZ

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Industry News Breakdown

Welcome to The Biz, where we highlight female-focused news in the sports industry.

Partnerships

  • With hopes to increase participation in women’s sports, Nike partnered with 13 amazing athletes to create the Nike Athlete Think Tank. A few of the founding members include Ibtihaj Muhammad, Serena Williams, Simone Manuel, Angela Davis, Sabrina Ionescu, and many other iconic names.
  • Kaiser Permanente became San Diego Wave FC’s first healthcare partner.
  • FTX gave Naomi Osaka an equity stake along with her ambassadorship.
  • Porsche named Emma Raducanu as a brand ambassador.

NIL

  • Hooper Jamad Fiin partnered with StockX.
  • Norah Flatley, a UCLA gymnast, signed a multi-year deal with Champion.
  • South Carolina’s Aaliyah Boston added Bose as her fourth NIL deal so far.
  • Viral IU cheerleader, Cassidy Cerny, partnered with the t-shirt company BreakingT to create a shirt with the image of her retrieving the ball so the game could resume.

Notable Moments

  • The Utah Jazz had their first all-female broadcast during their game against the LA Clippers on March 18.
  • Saweetie joined the Champion brand as a Global Cultural Consultant.
  • NJ/NY Gotham FC added two minority owners, Kristin Bernert and Karen Bryant.
  • Michigan football’s head coach Jim Harbaugh hired Milan “Mimi” Bolden-Morris, a graduate assistant. This makes her the first female GA coach in the Power 5 conferences.
  • Newly formed Angel City FC acquired $35 million in sponsorship revenue ahead of the NWSL season.
  • ESPN announced the launching of the first Fantasy Women’s Basketball game ahead of the WNBA season.
  • World No. 1 Ash Barty announced her retirement from tennis at just 25 years old.

Watch + Listen

MORE HEADLINES...

Playmaker Launches All-New Women's Sports Shows, Signs New Female Talent

Miller Lite Elevates Minority Voices In Esports Via Renewed Complexity Gaming Partnership

Bermuda Launches Black Golfers Week To Promote Diversity In Spor

CELEBRATING 50 YEARS OF TITLE IX

GoodSport is celebrating 50 years of Title IX and its everlasting impact on women’s sports by sharing the stories of past, present, and future women leading up to the June 23, 2022 anniversary.

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Chanin Scott

The 2022 March Madness Tournament is in full swing and the trending theme is Cinderella teams running through the competition. Because the NCAA changed the branding of March Madness to be the same for both the men's and women's tournaments, women have started to secure NIL deals just as much as the men. Chanin Scott is just one example.

Scott, currently in her last season at North Carolina A&T while completing her MBA, earned first-team All-Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) last season. Scott is active on social media with fashion and fitness tips, and also announced her interest in NIL deals when the news first came out. Scott's first NIL deal came from Positivity Water, a Black-owned bottled water company.

STATS THAT MATTER

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After being in the hot seat in 2021 due to the lack of equipment and poor marketing for the women’s March Madness tournament, the NCAA announced there will be several enhancements that improve both the player and fan experience.

The NCAA already expanded the tourney to 68 teams and it's also now referring to the tournament as March Madness — in the past, only the men's tournament was referred to as March Madness in branding. The NCAA also noted that the women’s side is seeing significantly more investment, but did not give a specific number.

READ MORE

BEFORE YOU GO, GIF US A SECOND

Did anyone else see Deja Kelly knock down that 3Q buzzer-beater shot against Arizona? UNC is in its first Sweet 16 since 2015 with this star talent.


March 10, 2022

FIERCE AND FEARLESS

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The Surfing "Princess"; Moana Jones Wong's First Professional Victory After A Multi-Year Gap

  • Moana Jones Wong took a multi-year break from surfing professionally, but she made her new debut in February 2022 at the first Female Championship Pipeline Contest.
  • The Billabong Pro Pipe contest is the first official female pipe championship tour after a long, 20-year fight to finally have one.
  • Wong proved her talent and finished the contest with the victory over five-time world champion and recent Olympic gold medalist Carissa Moore.

READ MORE

THE BIZ

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Industry News Breakdown

Welcome to The Biz, where we highlight female-focused news in the sports industry. The theme is firsts...

Partnerships

  • NY/NJ Gotham FC signs a multi-year partnership deal with blockchain company Algorand.
  • Delta Air Lines is NWSL’s newest partner.
  • Envy Gaming partners with the*gameHERS.

NIL

  • UNC Chapel Hill Guard, Deja Kelly, joins Drink Barcode as a brand ambassador.
  • Morgan Stanley adds tennis player Leylah Fernandez as a brand ambassador.

Notable Moments

  • ESPN announces the launch of women's fantasy basketball before the 2022 WNBA season.
  • Serena Williams raised $111M for her VCF, Serena Ventures, dedicated to minority-owned businesses.
  • Shetellia Riley Irving is believed to be the only Black woman agent representing an active NBA player — her stepson, Kyrie Irving.

Watch + Listen

  • For the first time, March Madness’s branding is the same for the men's and women’s tournaments. Make sure to tune in starting on Selection Sunday, March 13th.
  • Hope Solo has a new podcast in partnership with SiriusXM.

MORE HEADLINES...

World Rugby Appoints Sally Horrox As Director Of Women’s Rugby

FASTR Seeks to Close the Research Gap for Female Athletes, Leading to Longer, Healthier Careers

Mannix, Nugent Create Underdog Venture Team To Help Build Female And Minority Founded Businesses

CELEBRATING 50 YEARS OF TITLE IX

GoodSport is celebrating 50 years of Title IX and its everlasting impact on women’s sports by sharing the stories of past, present, and future women leading up to the June 23, 2022 anniversary.

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Kelsey Koelzer

Kelsey Koelzer excelled at hockey throughout her high school and college years. At Princeton, Koelzer was a three-time First Team Ivy League player and won Ivy League player of the year her senior year. After college, Koelzer was the first overall pick in the 2016 NWHL draft, making her the first African American to be selected number one overall in all of American professional hockey. Koelzer now serves on the NHL/NHLPA Female Hockey Advisory Committee.

“There's a lot of importance in seeing that leadership role behind the bench and seeing someone like myself being seen leading a team full of young women on the ice.” - Kelsey Koelzer

STATS THAT MATTER

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Despite another successful year for women’s sports, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done.

  • Women account for less than 1-in-5 among Associated Press Sports Editors newsroom members, which fuels many press rooms around the country.
  • Currently, a low percentage of sports broadcasters are women, even including weekday hosts on sports radio stations.
  • Another statistic that shows the discrepancy between boys and girls in sports is that boys get 1.13 million more sports opportunities than women worldwide. On top of this, 40% of teen girls are not actively participating in sport.
  • According to a global survey in June 2021, the key reasons for consumers not engaging with women's sports were more related to the media coverage of the events rather than the quality of the sport itself. In the survey, 40% of respondents cited the lack of media coverage as a reason for not engaging with women's sports as much as men's sports.
  • Statistics also claim that 40% of all sports participants are women, yet women’s sports receive only around 4% of all sports media coverage. And, of that limited coverage, women are often objectified or demeaned. This creates problems in the stereotypes people have of women.

Sources:

BEFORE YOU GO, GIF US A SECOND

Caitlin Clark has been a breakout star this year in NCAA women’s basketball. As an Iowa Hawkeye, Clark leads Division I with 27.4 points per game and has led Iowa to both regular season and tournament conference titles. Keep a lookout for Clark as March Madness approaches.


February 18, 2022

FIERCE AND FEARLESS

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This First-Time Paralympian Is Ready To Bring Representation To Wheelchair Curling

  • Oyuna Uranchimeg is heading to Beijing to represent Team USA at the 2022 Winter Paralympics in wheelchair curling.
  • Originally from Mongolia, Uranchimeg was visiting a friend in the United States in 2000 when she got into a car accident that severed the nerve in her spine.
  • Over 20 years later, the first-time Paralympian is entering the games at the age of 46 and hopes to encourage more women to try the beautiful game of curling.

READ MORE

THE BIZ

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Industry News Breakdown

Welcome to The Biz, where we highlight female-focused news in the sports industry.

2022 Winter Olympics

  • Russian figure skater, Kamila Valieva, was cleared to compete after failing a drug test from a banned heart medication.
  • Erin Jackson became the first Black woman to win an individual gold medal in speed skating- and is also the first woman from Team USA to win gold in this category since 1994.
  • Lindsey Jacobellis and Nick Baumgartner of Team USA become the first gold medal winners for the new event, mixed team snowboard cross.
  • Kelly Curtis is the first Black skeleton athlete to represent the U.S.
  • Queralt Castellet won silver in the half-pipe final, making her the first Spanish woman to medal at the Winter Olympics in 30 years.
  • Jessie Diggins became Team USA’s only Olympic sprint medal winner in cross-country skiing.

Notable Moments

  • The Golden State vs Utah Jazz game on Feb. 9 featured an all-female broadcast team consisting of Beth Mowins, Doris Burke, Lisa Salters, and 33 other women handling production.
  • Y. Michele Kang becomes the majority owner of the Washington Spirit.
  • The WNBA recently raised $75 million in capital — this is the largest amount raised in a single investment round by a women’s sports franchise.
  • Paige Bueckers secures her third NIL partnership with Cash App.

Watch + Listen

  • Watch your favorite female para-athletes in the 2022 Winter Paralympics, starting on Mar. 4, 2022. Check out our articles on the different events and milestones for women.

MORE HEADLINES...

Team USA showcasing diversity like never before

These women are investing to fix the ‘diversity problem’ in crypto: It isn’t ‘just male dominated. We want to show representation’

U.S. Women Make Monobob History At The 2022 Winter Olympics

CELEBRATING 50 YEARS OF TITLE IX

GoodSport is celebrating 50 years of Title IX and its everlasting impact on women’s sports by sharing the stories of past, present, and future women leading up to the June 23, 2022 anniversary.

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Lusia Harris

Lusia Harris was a pioneer for women’s basketball. While playing college ball at Delta State University, Harris led her team to three consecutive wins in the AIAW National Championships from 1975-1977. Harris was also a part of the first-ever women’s national team representing the United States at the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games.

Later on in her life, Harris became the first — and only — woman to be drafted by the NBA, and she continued her professional career by playing for the Houston Angels and the Women’s Professional Basketball League (WBL). Harris has since been inducted to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and Women's Basketball Hall of Fame.

STATS THAT MATTER

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  • Since the beginning, female Paralympians have played a significant role in fighting for equality. This past summer of 2021, the number of women who participated in the Paralympics set a record.
  • At the 2022 Winter Paralympics, there will be 736 para-athletes and 78 medal events. In addition to having 39 medal events for men, 35 events for women, and four mixed events, there will be 222 slots available for women.
  • The para-alpine skiing program will feature 30 medal events (15 male and 15 female). In these events, there will be slots for 140 men and 80 women, which represents a 7.7 and 33.3 percent growth, respectively, on the number of slots offered at the 2018 Pyeongchang Paralympics.
  • There are many notable women competing at the 2022 Winter Paralympics, including Oksana Masters, who became a gold medalist in both the Summer and Winter Olympics in Tokyo. Hours after winning her last race in Tokyo, Masters transitioned from focusing on running to skiing. The 10-time Paralympian is looking to add to her medal count this year.
  • Kendall Gretsch is another para-athlete that has also competed in the Summer Olympics. Gretsch won the gold in the triathlon event in Tokyo, and is now getting ready to compete in the cross country skiing and biathlon events.
  • One to watch is Brittani Couri, who broke her right ankle while snowboarding in 2003, and in the years to come, experienced continued complications with the ankle that required multiple surgeries. In June 2011, after nine surgeries, Couri decided to have her leg amputated below the knee to pursue a more active life. Couri first competed in para-snowboarding in 2016 and won a Paralympic silver medal in banked slalom in 2018.

BEFORE YOU GO, GIF US A SECOND

Oksana Masters is an American Paralympic rower and cross-country skier. The 10-time Paralympic medalist is looking to add to that this year at the 2022 Beijing Winter Paralympics. Masters reigns from Louisville, Kentucky, but she was born in Ukraine with both of her legs damaged by in-utero radiation poisoning from the Chernobyl nuclear reactor incident.


February 7, 2022

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The Paralympian Who's Campaigning For More Sports

  • Alana Nichols made history as the first woman to win gold at both the winter and summer Paralympics.
  • Now the multisport Paralympian — including wheelchair basketball, adaptive alpine skiing, and adaptive kayaking — is campaigning for the growth of adaptive sports and female athletes.
  • Nichols' newest activity is surfing and she is spearheading the movement to have the sport join the Paralympics by 2028.

READ MORE

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Women To Watch And Storylines To Follow In The 2022 Olympic Winter Games

  • The gender gap is closing in the Winter Olympics with a record number of women from around the world set to compete in the 2022 Beijing Games.
  • As we look back in history nearly 100 years to the inaugural Winter Olympic Games of 1924, we’ve come a long way. That year, the program included just 11 women total from around the world participating in the only sport women were allowed — figure skating.
  • Today, the gender representation for many nations is much more balanced, including for Team USA where the line is split nearly in half with 222 total athletes, including 108 women. While this divide is still imperfect, the United State’s 2022 Olympic Team comprises the most women competing for any nation in Winter Olympic history.
  • Here are some of the incredible women to watch and storylines to follow over the next few weeks.

READ MORE

CELEBRATING 50 YEARS OF TITLE IX

GoodSport is celebrating 50 years of Title IX and its everlasting impact on women’s sports by sharing the stories of past, present, and future women leading up to the June 23, 2022 anniversary.

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Chris Ernst

When she was a member of the Yale women's crew team, Chris Ernst and 18 of her teammates stormed the office of the Director of Women’s Athletics one day, removed their Yale sweats, and revealed “TITLE IX” written across their backs. They were protesting the lack of women’s showers at the boathouse, which forced their team to wait on a cold bus in sweaty clothes while the men’s team showered.

“[Ours] are the bodies Yale is exploiting," Ernst said. "On a day like today, the ice freezes on this skin...we sit for half an hour as [it] melts and soaks through to meet the sweat that is soaking us from the inside."

BEING A GOODSPORT

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Women's Sports Network Seeks To Spotlight Female Athletes

GoodSport is proud to be a launch partner of the Women's Sports Network, a 24/7 television channel entirely devoted to covering female athletes on and off the field.

READ MORE

THE BIZ

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Industry News Breakdown

Welcome to The Biz, where we highlight female-focused news in the sports industry.

2022 Winter Olympics

  • Anna Hoffman became the only American woman chosen for women's ski jumping
  • Speed skater Brittany Bowe became one of Team USA's flag bearers during opening ceremonies after Elana Meyers Taylor, who was originally chosen for the honor, tested positive for COVID-19.

Partnerships

  • Athletes Unlimited recently partnered with Sportradar, EY, and Baden Sports. Partnerships with Gatorade, GigLabs, Nike, Topps, VKTRY, Blue Sky CBD, and WEST + WILDER were also extended.
  • Adidas launched the “Impossible is Nothing” campaign with seven features of high profile women to engage audiences across social media to support women’s athleisure. Adidas is also sponsoring the Fifa Women’s World Cup 2023.
  • The WNBA raised $75 million in funding towards marketing and growth.

Notable Hires

  • Kristi Coleman was recently promoted to Team President of the Carolina Panthers. She is the first female to hold this position in franchise history.
  • Trinity Rodman signs a $1+ million contract with the Washington Spirit, a record in NWSL history.
  • Shelly Cayette became the first Black female Chief Commercial Officer in NBA history.

Watch + Listen

  • Athletes Unlimited Hoops’ season is going strong. Watch CBS Sports Network, FOX Sports, Bally Sports Regional Sports Network, or on AU’s social channels.
  • Watch your favorite female athletes in the 2022 Winter Olympics. Check out our articles on the different events and milestones for women.

MORE HEADLINES...

Athletes Unlimited Adds 9 Partners

NBA And WNBA Teams Come Together To Host Fourth Installment Of Award-Winning Social Justice Initiative “Team Up For Change"

How Adidas Is Investing In Women In Sport As Never Before

STATS THAT MATTER

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  • At the 2022 Winter Olympics, women may set a record for most women from any nation to compete at a single Winter Games.
  • It’s a record the United States has broken at the previous 10 Winter Olympics, according to Olympedia.org. Of the 223 American athletes competing, 108 are women.
  • The U.S. roster includes two women — Lindsey Jacobellis (snowboarding) and Katie Uhlaender (skeleton) — who will compete in their fifth Olympics and will tie the record for most ever Olympic games.
  • Five other women — Hilary Knight (hockey), Ashley Caldwell (freestyle skiing, aerials), Faye Gulini (snowboard cross), and Elana Meyers Taylor and Kaillie Humphries (bobsled) — will make their fourth Olympic appearance.
  • The youngest member of this year’s Olympic team is figure skater Alysa Liu who will be 16 years and six months old in Beijing.
  • The oldest woman competing for Team USA is Katie Uhlaender who will be competing in the Skeleton event. At age 37, Uhlaender is the oldest member of the U.S. team, but not the oldest athlete in the Olympics.
  • Additionally, U.S. aerialist Winter Vinecki will become the first Winter Olympian from any nation to be named “Winter” when she makes her debut in Beijing, according to Olympedia.org.
  • Team USA’s roster includes fewer women than men, which contrasts the most recent Summer Games. The 2021 Tokyo Olympics marked the third straight Summer Olympics in which women outnumbered men on the U.S. Olympic team. Over 45 percent of athletes at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics will be women, a record for the Winter Olympic Games. Four years ago at the last Winter Games, women comprised 41 percent of all international competitors.
  • While the gender gap is closing, men still have more events on the Olympic Winter Games program at 51, compared to only 46 for women. Part of the reason for this is the Nordic combined, the only Olympic sport (summer or winter) that does not include women. Women also have fewer quota spots in bobsled, luge, ski jumping, and ice hockey.

Sources:

BEFORE YOU GO, GIF US A SECOND

American snowboarder Chloe Kim is the heavy favorite at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. At the 2018 Winter Olympics, Kim became the youngest woman to win an Olympic snowboarding gold medal when she won gold in the women’s halfpipe at age 17. This will be Kim's second Winter Games.


January 25, 2022

FIERCE AND FEARLESS

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Athletes Unlimited: Bringing Athletes — And Couples — Together

  • Athletes Unlimited will provide women’s basketball another chance to play professionally starting January 26, 2021.
  • Basketball will be the fourth league in Athletes Unlimited’s network, following softball, women’s indoor volleyball (launched in February 2021), and women’s lacrosse (July 2021).
  • Natasha Cloud and Aleshia Ocasio will benefit from AU’s addition as it will bring the power couple closer together than ever before.

READ MORE

CELEBRATING 50 YEARS OF TITLE IX

GoodSport is celebrating 50 years of Title IX and its everlasting impact on women’s sports by sharing the stories of past, present, and future women leading up to the June 23, 2022 anniversary.

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Dr. Bernice R. Sandler: "Godmother Of Title IX

Over her 50 years of advocating for women’s rights, Dr. Bernice R. Sandler has written over 100 articles, served on over thirty boards, and given over 2,500 presentations. In addition, Dr. Sandler has served as an expert witness in many cases involving sexual harassment or discrimination in educational institutions or the workplace. Her publication, "10 Ways Expert Witnesses Can be Used in Sex Discrimination and Sexual Harassment Cases," has served as a standard reference for educators, lawyers, and bar associations since its publication in 1997.

"Sex prejudice is so ingrained in our society that many who practice it are simply unaware that they are hurting women," Sandler said.

THE BIZ

Pictured: Aisha Visram                                                                                                     Photo Credit: Google

Pictured: Aisha Visram                                                                                                     Photo Credit: Google

Welcome to The Biz, where we highlight female-focused news in the sports industry.

Partnerships

  • Visa recently became the first partner of FIFA Women’s Football and will be a huge support to the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup. This is one of many steps they’ve taken to show their commitment to growing women’s soccer.
  • Angel City FC, founded by various stars like Serena Williams and Natalie Portman, is now sponsored by Crypto.com. This makes them the first crypto firm to sponsor any women’s sports team.

Notable Hires

  • The Yankees hired Rachel Balkovec as the new manager of their Class A minor league team, the Tampa Tarpons. She is the first female to manage any major league affiliated team full-time.
  • The Toronto Blue Jays hired a new Minor League hitting coach, Jaime Vieira, making her the first woman to coach in their organization.
  • The Boston Red Sox recently became the first organization with two women on their coaching staff after hiring Katie Krall as a minor league coach.
  • It’s been reported that Catherine Raiche, currently the VP of Football Operations for the Philadelphia Eagles, was requested to interview for the Vikings GM position. Not technically a hire… yet.
  • Athletic Trainer Aisha Visram made history at the Kings/Penguins game on January 13th as the second female ever to work an NHL game behind the bench. The last time was 2 decades ago when Assistant Athletic Trainer, Jodi van Rees, worked a game with the Montreal Canadiens.
  • Francie Gottsegen was named President of the North Carolina FC, a USL League One club.
  • Salima Mukansanga made history as the first female referee at the African Cup of Nations.
  • ESPN hired NBA reporter Kendra Andrews, sister to Malika Andrews. Both appeared in an episode of NBA Today.

Watch + Listen

  • Athletes Unlimited Hoops season starts January 26th. Watch on CBS Sports Network, FOX Sports, Bally Sports Regional Sports Network, or on AU’s social channels.
  • Just Women’s Sports recently released a podcast called NETLIFE, hosted by Dawn Staley and Lisa Leslie.
  • Netflix released the announcement of two new docuseries about the golf and tennis industries after seeing the popularity of their F1 series.

MORE HEADLINES...

Lusia Harris, Basketball Pioneer And Only Woman Drafted Into The NBA, Dies At 66

Serena Williams Joins Sorare To Help $4.3 Billion Blockchain Firm Conquer U.S. Sports, Women’s Leagues

FanDuel CEO Amy Howe Wants To Persuade More Women To Participate In Sports Betting
Lusia Harris, Basketball Pioneer And Only Woman Drafted Into The NBA, Dies At 66

STATS THAT MATTER

                                                                                                                         Photo credit: Athletes Unlimited

                                                                                                                         Photo credit: Athletes Unlimited

  • Athletes Unlimited is a network of new professional sports leagues where athletes compete in fantasy-inspired games in softball, volleyball, lacrosse, and basketball. This player-centered model has the athletes involved every step of the way.
  • According to the Orlando Sentinel, players in that league make a base salary of $10,000 for a six-week season and can take home as much as $25,000 with additional achievements.
  • Softball, volleyball, and lacrosse are the main focus and will slowly start to expand with basketball as well as have other sports on the horizon. Basketball is expected to start this year (2022).
  • More than 90 percent of Athletes Unlimited fans surveyed said they cared strongly that the league is athlete-led. Making the players more closely involved in the game proved appealing to fans and players alike.
  • Athletes Unlimited takes a more data-driven approach and ignores the fact that women’s sports can’t draw large, revenue-generating audiences. The research commissioned by the founders of Athletes Unlimited indicated something much different. So did the 1,200-plus softball games ESPN broadcast in 2019.
  • When UCLA clinched the national championship with a walk-off hit last year, the game averaged 1.8 million viewers. Also, the College World Series in softball has posted higher ratings than the College World Series in baseball. This gave Athletes Unlimited the opportunity to push women’s sports forward.

Sources:

BEFORE YOU GO, GIF US A SECOND

Natasha Cloud is a WNBA star who plays for the Washington Mystics. Cloud was drafted 15th overall in 2015 after leaving St. Joesph’s University. During her career, Cloud has averaged 6.7 points per game and 4.5 assists per game.


January 7, 2022

FIERCE AND FEARLESS

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The Story Behind This Pro Bowl Cheerleaders Success

  • Vanessa Wahl went viral when she was announced as the cheerleader to represent the Indianapolis Colts’ squad.
  • Behind Wahl's success is the story of her father, who passed away from colon cancer in July 2021.

READ MORE

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Top Four Surprises Of The First Half Of The NCAA Women's Basketball Season

  • As we enter the new year, the first half of the 2021-2022 women’s basketball season is coming to a close. Click the link below for a list of the top 4 surprises of the first half of the 2021-2022 NCAA women’s basketball season.

This GoodSport article was published in Sports Illustrated on Jan. 5, 2022.

READ MORE

CELEBRATING 50 YEARS OF TITLE IX

GoodSport is celebrating 50 years of Title IX and its everlasting impact on women’s sports by sharing the stories of past, present, and future women leading up to the June 23, 2022 anniversary.

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Dr. Christine Grant: A Pioneer In Women's Athletics

Dr. Christine Grant spent nearly three decades as the athletic director of the women's athletic department at the University of Iowa. A long-time student at Iowa earning her undergraduate, master's, and doctorate degrees, Grant started her career as the field hockey coach while also navigating the women's athletic department.

Grant was a strong advocate of Title IX and even served as a consultant for the Civil Rights Title IX task force. During her career, Grant led multiple organizations, including the Association of Intercollege Athletics for Women and the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletic Administrators. Grant's recent passing at the age of 85 reminds us of her bravery in changing the landscape of women's athletics.

THE BIZ

                                                                                                                                           Photo Credit: Google

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Welcome to The Biz, where we highlight female-focused news in the sports industry. The theme is firsts...

Notable Hires

  • Bridgette Lacquette is the first indigenous woman to scout for an NHL team after being hired by the Chicago Blackhawks.
  • Becky Hammon, the first full-time female assistant in the NBA, was hired by the Las Vegas Aces. Now she’s the highest-paid head coach in the WNBA. Fun fact - Hammon played for the Aces back when they were called the San Antonio Silver Stars.

Partnerships

  • Visa recently became the first partner of FIFA Women’s Football and will be a huge support to the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup. This is one of many steps they’ve taken to show their commitment to growing women’s soccer.
  • Angel City FC, founded by various stars like Serena Williams and Natalie Portman, is now sponsored by Crypto.com. This makes them the first crypto firm to sponsor any women’s sports team.

Hoping for even more firsts this year!

MORE HEADLINES...

As 2022 Begins, A Major Schism Among Sports Gender Rights Advocates Is Brewing

Emma Raducanu Adds British Airways To Growing Endorsement Portfolio

From Ground Up, New Big Ten Exec Wants To Grow Culture Of Women's College Basketball

STATS THAT MATTER

                                                                                                                                   Photo credit: Shutterstock

                                                                                                                                   Photo credit: Shutterstock

  • A recent study showed that women saw average returns of almost 20 percent on their bets while men lost an average of almost 5 percent. Additionally, the study suggested that women’s approaches are more strategic and less emotional than men’s. The study also found that one-third of bettors in the U.S. are women.
  • Studies have found that women make up 50 percent of the sports fan base in the United States, yet men account for 72 percent of the money wagered legally on sports in the country.
  • Another study found that 29.7 percent of male bettors placed more than $500 in sports bets per month, but only 12.2 percent of female bettors did. The same research indicated that 65.2 percent of women who wager on sports regularly in the United States, risk less than $100 per month. This means that roughly two-thirds of all female sports bettors are casual or once-per-month types.
  • There are multiple reasons this could be the case. As one of the studies mentioned above suggested, men are more emotional bettors. Data also suggests that women are more risk-averse than men. These two factors could explain why women are better bettors than men.
  • More importantly, however, is the idea that female bettors have the potential to be a booming market.
  • Dr. Laila Mintas, CEO of Australian sportsbook PlayUp’s U.S. operations, said this presents a massive opportunity for the industry, noting “I strongly believe it’s a totally unserved and untapped market.”

Sources:

BEFORE YOU GO, GIF US A SECOND

Brittney Griner is a WNBA superstar who stands at 6’9”. After finishing her college career at Baylor, she was drafted 1st overall by the Phoenix Mercury. She is the only NCAA basketball player to score 2,000 points and block 500 shots. In her WNBA career, she had averaged 17.7 points per game.


December 28, 2021

FIERCE AND FEARLESS

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How One Woman Is Destigmatizing Mental Health In Sports And Bringing Awareness To Diversity And Inclusion In The Industry

  • Megan Reyes is the host of AMPLIFIED and the founder of the apparel brand More Diverse Voices in Sports.
  • Noticing the lack of racial diversity and female representation in the industry, Reyes decided to take action by starting her popular apparel brand as a way to bring awareness to an issue that had largely been ignored.
  • Since launching her brand in March of 2021, Reyes has raised thousands of dollars and has donated a portion of the proceeds to organizations like Athlete Ally, Black Women’s Player Collective, and Move United.

READ MORE

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The Life Of A Multifaceted Soccer Star

  • Kim Wyant’s life in soccer has spanned multiple decades.
  • Wyant accomplished everything from a spot on the first United States women’s national soccer team (USWNT) in 1985, to leading the New York University (NYU) men’s soccer team to an NCAA Tournament appearance this past season.
  • Wyant’s soccer resume is stacked, even though she did not begin playing the sport until she was an upperclassman in high school.

READ MORE

EDITOR'S PICK

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How "Football Freddie And Fumble The Dog" Came To Life

  • Marnie Schneider, granddaughter of legend Leonard Tose, created “Football Freddie and Fumble the Dog” in the most unlikely of places and 30 years later, brought it to life with her mother, Susan Tose.
  • “Football Freddie and Fumble the Dog” follows the life of Fredericka — based on Schneider — and her dog.
  • Schneider is currently working on a podcast and is expanding her book series into other sports leagues with new characters.

This GoodSport article was published in Sports Illustrated on Dec. 23, 2021.

READ MORE

INDUSTRY NEWS

                                                                                                                                           Photo credit: Google

                                                                                                                                           Photo credit: Google

We're highlighting some of the groundbreaking deals, hires, and achievements in the women's sports industry this past year. There's still a climb ahead but let's enjoy the view for a second:

  • Nike partnered with the NFL and committed $5 million to growing girls' flag football in the U.S.
  • Alex Morgan, Sue Bird, Simone Manuel, and Chloe Kim launched Togethxr, a media company dedicated to female athletes.
  • Allison Felix launched a $200,000 child care fund dedicated towards covering child care costs for Olympic athletes.
  • The NBA had a league record of 6 full-time female referees this season.
  • Kansas City NWSL made the announcement it will build the first soccer-specific stadium purpose-built for an NWSL team.
  • The NCAA women's basketball tournament stated it will be expanding from 64 to 68 teams, the same as the men's. The women are also using the same "March Madness" branding for the first time starting this season.
  • Moolah Kicks announced a retail partnership with Dicks Sporting Goods. The footwear brand was made exclusively for female athletes and created by Natalie White, basketball player and advocate for women's sports. Dicks will be Moolah's first retailer, others hopefully following close behind.
  • Paige Bueckers became Gatorade's first NIL athlete. From being the 2020 Gatorade National Player of the Year in high school to now having a multi-year partnership with the company, Bueckers is truly breaking barriers and putting women's basketball on the map.
  • Beth Mowins recently became the first woman to call a regular season NBA game on ESPN. Earlier this year, Mowins also became the first woman to call a Chicago Cubs game.
  • Cheryl Reeve, 3x WNBA coach of the year and current Minnesota Lynx coach and GM, was announced as head coach for the US women's national basketball team. Reeve will be the first pro women's basketball coach to head the team since the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
  • 2x WNBA champ and Atlanta Dream co-owner Renee Montgomery joined Valor Ventures to help invest in more minority and women-led companies. "The goal is to create a bigger table, for more to eat." Renee tweeted.

MORE HEADLINES...

Canadian Women Play Starring Role In Unforgettable Year Of Sports History, Triumph

'Equal Just Isn’t Enough': How Tiffany Tucker Is Inspiring Women Athletes To Fight For More

A More In-Depth Look At Noem’s ‘Fairness In Women’s Sports’ Bill

STATS THAT MATTER

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  • 2021 has been a successful year for LatinX athletes. From the Olympics to their success in professional sports, LatinX athletes have represented their cultures in a more prominent way.
  • Though 55 million Latinos make up 17 percent of the current U.S. population, their number across most major American sports is staggeringly low. Latinos are most present in Major League Baseball, where they represent 28.5 percent of the league. As the Latino population continues to grow in our country, their presence in sports outside of baseball is not following suit.
  • There are many well-known Latina athletes such as Diana Taurasi, Laurie Hernandez, and Rachel Garcia. However, it can be difficult for young Latina athletes to get into sports. They face many barriers, namely the message they receive that Latina girls don’t belong in sports. In one study, 54.6% of high school girls played on at least one sports team, and only 48.4% of Hispanic/Latina girls did.
  • Though Latinx athletes are beginning to gain more traction, there still needs to be more awareness about the lack of LatinX, specifically women, in sports. Several athletes have started raising awareness about this, including baseball star David Ortiz. There is still a long way to go, but things are looking up for Latinx athletes.

Sources:

BEFORE YOU GO, GIF US A SECOND

Kerri Walsh Jennings is a volleyball legend — a three-time Olympic gold medalist and a one-time bronze medalist. She is the beach volleyball career leader in both career victories and career winnings as of 2016, with 133 victories and $2,542,635 in winnings. At age 43, she is finally starting to slow down.


December 14, 2021

FIERCE AND FEARLESS

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Jessica Platt: Facing Obstacles On And Off The Ice

Jessica Platt thought her hockey career was over after she graduated high school. Eight years later, Platt found herself back on the ice playing the sport she loved as a kid, but now she was in an entirely different body.

Platt began hormone replacement therapy in 2012 as a 23-year-old. After graduating from Wilfrid Laurier University two years later, Platt took up a second job as a skating and hockey instructor, and it was during that time that she began to become interested in playing hockey again.

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Before Sarah Fuller Kicked Footballs, She Kicked Soccer Balls

When Sarah Fuller took the field a year ago for Vanderbilt University’s football team, the college senior took the world by storm, empowering women of all ages to do what many thought was impossible — break barriers and make history.

In other words, play like a girl.

Much like that phrase that she placed on the back of her helmet during her playing days for the Commodores, Fuller has since become an icon in women’s sports as the girl who stepped up when a team needed someone. But before there was football, there was soccer.

This article was originally published in Sports Illustrated on Nov. 25, 2021.

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EDITOR'S PICK

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Into The Depths Of An Untapped Sport: Finding Peace In The Open Water

It’s still dark when Maryam Sharifzadeh slips into the San Francisco Bay to begin her swim. The endless stretch of murky ocean water registers at a brisk 54 degrees and is cold enough to send a bone-chilling shiver through the body of even the most experienced swimmer.

But today, as the city around her lays quiet, Sharifzadeh is focused on the task ahead: becoming the second person and the first woman to swim 22 miles around the shoreline of San Francisco. With her dedicated team ready alongside to keep watch for other boat traffic, changing tides, and unexpected hazards, Sharifzadeh kicks her legs to keep warm and watches as the sun begins to appear over the city’s horizon. It’s time to swim.

This article was originally published in Sports Illustrated on Nov. 19, 2021.

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INDUSTRY NEWS

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More Recent News For Women In Sports

Since being named interim GM and Assistant this past August, the NJ/NY Gotham FC have officially hired Yael Averbuch West and Stephanie Lee.

Paige Bueckers has become Gatorade's first NIL athlete, making this her second partnership since the new rules were announced. From being the 2020 Gatorade National Player of the Year in high school to now having a multi-year partnership with the company, she's truly breaking barriers and putting women's basketball on the map.

Cheryl Reeve, 3x WNBA coach of the year and current Minnesota Lynx coach and GM, was announced as head coach for the US women's national basketball team. She will be the first pro women's basketball coach to head the team since the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Ashleigh Barty, current Wimbledon champ, earned the title of WTA Player of the Year for the second time in her career.

Beth Mowins recently became the first woman to call a regular season NBA game on ESPN. Earlier this year, she also became the first woman to call a Chicago Cubs game.

Steph Curry and SC30 have signed UConn women's basketball player, Azzi Fudd, to their team in an interesting NIL deal. They will help Fudd with business opportunities and offer professional services to further her career.

MORE HEADLINES...

EA Sports Set To Add Women's Teams To 'NHL 22' Video Game

Olympic Champion Among Taekwondo Athletes Appointed Women In Sports Ambassadors By Association Of Southeast Asian Nations

Buccaneers Program Helps Women Kick Off Careers In Professional Sports

STATS THAT MATTER

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Despite the growing visibility of LGBTQIA+ athletes, many still choose to remain in the closet.

80 percent of LGBTQIA+ teenagers and 83 percent of transgender teenagers are not out to their coaches. This is problematic for many and more progress needs to be made in order to help those who identify this way to feel more supported.

41 percent of transgender boys, 34 percent of transgender girls and 31 percent of non-binary youth never feel safe in the locker room. Only 24 percent of LGBTQIA+ youth say they play a school sport, compared to 68 percent of a national non-LGBTQIA+ sample. These statistics show how difficult the sports environment can be for those who identify as LGBTQIA+.

Many famous athletes have come out as members of this community. Examples include Megan Rapinoe, Alana Smith, Sue Bird, and Caitlyn Jenner. They have paved the way for this community and continue to make strides in helping those struggling to feel more heard.

Sue Bird even wrote an essay about her girlfriend, Megan Rapinoe, in which she said “My girlfriend … was putting American soccer, women’s sports, equal pay, gay pride, and TRUE LOVE on her back, all at once.”

Thanks to women like them, strides are being made for the LGBTQIA+ community in the sports world.

Source: https://www.hrc.org/press-releases/groundbreaking-hrc-and-uconn-survey-finds-lgbtq-student-athletes-overwhelmi

BEFORE YOU GO, GIF US A SECOND

Megan Rapinoe is not only a soccer star but an advocate for social justice. She is an athlete, activist, and entrepreneur. In an interview with Forbes, Rapinoe said "I feel a responsibility to do what I can with what I have to try to make the world better in whatever way I’m able to." As an advocate for LGBTQ rights, Rapinoe has inspired many young athletes.


November 30, 2021

FIERCE AND FEARLESS

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GoodSport Q&A: Nneka Ogwumike Isn’t Letting Any Setbacks Slow Her Down

Nneka Ogwumike has never been one to allow setbacks or snubs to keep her from thriving. Even after Team USA’s controversial decision to leave her off the Olympic Team in Tokyo, and FIBA’s decision that she couldn’t play for Nigeria with her sisters Chiney and Erica despite holding dual citizenship her entire life—Ogwumike has accomplished a great deal in 2021.

Earning her recognition as one of the biggest stars in basketball, the WNBA named Ogwumike one of the greatest 25 players in league history, and the Sparks star cemented her status in pop culture when she starred in the movie Space Jam: A New Legacy.

Ogwumike also partnered with Michelob Ultra and its "See It, Save It" campaign. According to Ogwumike, "Michelob in general, they represent a lot of what is authentic to me, whether it’s being a role model or just investing in women’s sports. And being authentic to who you are in that investment."

This GoodSport story was originally published in Sports Illustrated on Sep. 14, 2021.

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National Women’s Soccer League Rises As Investments Soar

The first professional sports league to return to play during the COVID-19 pandemic was the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL). When the league returned, it broke its viewership records by nearly 300 percent. Since then, many new television deals have been signed, including CBS Sports, NBC Sports, and Amazon’s Twitch streaming service, in hopes of allowing a larger audience for the sport.

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EDITOR'S PICK

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NIL A “Game Changer” For Female Athletes

The new NCAA interim policy of name, image, and likeness (NIL) has opened the door for collegiate athletes to make a profit off of any social media posts, autograph signings, and endorsements.

On June 30, the NCAA Division I Board of Directors approved an interim policy that allows collegiate athletes to profit off their name, image and likeness (NIL). Those rule changes, as well as state laws that went into effect July 1, have opened the door for athletes to earn money for social media posts, autograph signings and endorsements.

This article was originally published in Sports Business Journal on Aug. 18, 2021.

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INDUSTRY NEWS

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Partners Stepping Up For Women's Sports

Recently, Moolah Kicks has announced a retail partnership with Dicks Sporting Goods. The footwear brand was made exclusively for female athletes and created by Natalie White, basketball player and advocate for women's sports. Dicks will be its first retailer, others hopefully following close behind.

2x WNBA champ and Atlanta Dream co-owner, Renee Montgomery, joins Valor Ventures to help invest in more minority and women-led companies. "The goal is to create a bigger table, for more to eat." Renee tweeted.

Alana Beard, 4x All-Star and WNBA legend, has joined efforts to bring a WNBA expansion team to Oakland. She's teaming up with the African American Sports + Entertainment Group, which started the process earlier this year by gaining the city council's vote on a new lease.

Kansas City NWSL is building the very first soccer stadium purpose-built for an NWSL team. In addition to a new stadium, the team released a new name and crest, now called the Kansas City Current.

Alyssa Naeher was announced as a nominee in the 2021 Best FIFA Football Awards. The USWNT goalie is the only American candidate on the ballot.

June Ambrose has designed Puma's first women's basketball collection after joining their team as creative director. This 25-piece collection is a huge milestone for the company and creates a new category in their clothing lineup.

The NCAA women's basketball tournament will be expanding from 64 to 68 teams, the same as the men's. The women are also using the same "March Madness" branding for the first time starting this season. 

MORE HEADLINES...

Joelah Noble On Women In Sport, Playing Football With Headie One, And The 2022 Euros

Next Woman Up: Karen Murphy, SVP Of Business Strategy And CFO For The Chicago Bears

MEAC Hires New Associate Commissioner With Hampton Ties

STATS THAT MATTER

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Countless athletes have partnerships. Not every athlete is able to gain sponsorships, and landing one is quite a big deal. From Maria Sharapova and Porsche to Steph Curry and Under Armour, athletes partner with a wide range of companies for a myriad of reasons. Besides the money involved, there are several other benefits for both athletes and their respective partners.

Nneka Ogwumike recently signed a deal with Michelob Ultra. The benefits for her include not only money, but the opportunity for them to work together to bring more visibility to women’s sports. By being one of the faces of Michelob, Ogwumike is able to bring more awareness to women’s sports because of the different audiences Michelob has.

Michelob decided to feature different athletes on their 12 oz bottles — these athletes include Serena Williams and Alex Morgan.

The visibility women’s sports gets from deals like this can be hugely impactful. The Michelob Ultra audience expands beyond the typical women’s sports fans, which helps to bring more people in. For the athletes, it gives them a way to brand themselves outside of their sport. It also gives them the freedom to engage in something creative and provides a way to develop content in their own unique way.

Sponsorships also allow athletes to be competitive outside of their sport, which can be a healthy way for athletes to use their fierce nature. Developing a persona outside of sports can help athletes to gain a bigger following and bring more attention to his or her sport.

“Sponsorship is about putting your name and reputation on the line for someone else,” said Former CEO of KPMG Lynne Doughtie. “It could be as simple as recommending someone for a new role, yet it’s one of the most powerful cultural tools any organization has.”

In addition to benefiting the athlete, these sponsorships also help the company. There is a reason certain companies go after certain athletes, as they want to choose someone who will draw people to their brand. Sponsorships have become an increasingly important part of sports in recent years, and they will continue to be influential for many years to come.

BEFORE YOU GO, GIF US A SECOND

As one of the most well-known figures in American open-wheel racing, Danica Patrick is a name everyone knows. Though her racing career is over, Patrick has now become one of the biggest names in the sponsorship game. Patrick is sponsored by Chevrolet, Coca-Cola, Nationwide Insurance, and Tissot. When Patrick was racing, she also sported many different brands on her car such as GoDaddy. It is safe to say that Patrick knows a thing or two about athletes and sponsorships.


November 11, 2021

FIERCE AND FEARLESS

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This Father-Daughter Bonding Experience Is Like No Other

You know those families that run 5Ks on Thanksgiving? Well, that’s Summer Lena and her family.

Summer’s dad, Anthony, is a retired U.S. Navy SEAL. Anthony served in the Navy for 27 years on the SEAL teams and amassed 22 deployments during his military career. For his actions in service, he was awarded the Silver Star, a Purple Heart, and seven Bronze Star medals with Combat Valor. During his impressive career, Anthony wasn’t around his family as much as he would have liked, but he gives credit to his wife for raising their “phenomenal kids.”

The New York City Marathon’s 26.2-miles course — which is also the marathon’s 50th run — will go through the five boroughs of New York City. Anthony asked his daughter if she wanted to run the marathon with him and she was stunned because she had never done a run that strenuous before. Anthony however sees this as an opportunity to teach his daughter in a way he never has before.

This GoodSport article was published in Yahoo Sports on Nov. 8, 2021.

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EDITOR'S PICK

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Meet The Real-Life Soldiers-Turned-Coaches Who Are Changing The Future

For some women, walking into a male-dominated room can be an intimidating situation. Harrison Bernstein, founder and president of the non-profit organization Soldiers to Sidelines, knew that needed to change.

Soldiers To Sidelines is an organization dedicated to providing a “renewed sense of purpose for veterans, service members, and military spouses to become character-based coaches who serve their communities” and gives back to those who served their country by providing coaching certification seminars. How it all came to be, however, was just by chance.

As time went on, Bernstein saw a need for expanding his reach beyond veterans and service members to also include military spouses. For Bernstein, Soldiers To Sidelines is centered around inclusivity, which is why the organization now offers a certification program designed specifically for women.

This GoodSport article was published in Sports Illustrated on Nov. 11, 2021.

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BONUS FEATURE

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From Heisman Winner To Brigadier General To Wall Street Tycoon, Pete Dawkins Is An Inspiration To All

In 1958, Peter Dawkins was the Heisman winner. But the road to the highest honor in football was battle, to say the least. At age 11, Dawkins was diagnosed with Polio, a disease that affects the nervous system and can cause paralysis.

Dawkins however did the unimaginable — he weighed 98 pounds going into high school and graduated at 220 pounds — and earned a spot on the West Point football team. From there, Dawkins persevered and won himself the Heisman Trophy. After college, Dawkins went to Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, and three years later, became a career officer in the United States Army, serving 24 years and fought in the Vietnam War.

After his time in the Army, Dawkins found a spot in the world of finance and earned a spot as a partner at Lehman Brother and head of the Public Finance Banking division.

The now-retired Army General and former Heisman winner sat down with Jim Corcoran to talk about his journey through life, from being diagnosed with Polio to working on Wall Street.

GoodSport has been given exclusive rights to publish this interview, and has been edited for clarity. This interview was published in Yahoo Sports on Nov. 11, 2021.

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MORE HEADLINES...

DraftKings Teams Up With Pat Tillman Foundation To Impact The Lives Of Active Military Members, Veterans, And Their Families

Army Veteran Finds Purpose In Adaptive Sports

Veterans Honored By FOX Sports NFL Sunday During Broadcast From US Naval Academy In Annapolis

STATS THAT MATTER

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There are nearly two million living women veterans in the United States. A small handful of these women are athletes and they deserve to be celebrated.

Veterans make up 14% of the men in America, but among women in America, only 1.5% are veterans. Examples of female veterans who are athletes include Shawn Cheshire, Bernetta Williams, Tiffany Johnson-Pittman, Michele Gonzalez, and Lauren Montoya.

Shawn Cheshire was a helicopter armament specialist in the U.S. Army and is now a para-athlete. At age 46, she has competed at the National and International levels in multiple para-sports, including adaptive rowing, adaptive biathlon, tandem road para-cycling, and tandem track para-cycling. Cheshire sustained multiple injuries while serving in the Army, but received stellar medical care that now allows her to compete at the highest level.

Michele Gonzalez was a military intelligence officer in the Army. Gonzalez always had a passion for running and turned to it as her release while serving in Iraq. Since returning home, Gonzalez has run countless miles, 13 marathons, and the 2013 Lake Placid Ironman triathlon. Gonzalez is now a coach to other runners and has grown a loyal following on Instagram, Twitter, and her blog, NYCrunningmama.com.

Sources: dol.gov and ESPN

BEFORE YOU GO, GIF US A SECOND

Melissa Stockwell served in the U.S. Army after being inspired by the events on September 11, 2001. As a first lieutenant, Stockwell was deployed to Iraq where she later lost her leg to a roadside bomb. Stockwell now competes at the highest level as a Paralympic triathlete and swimmer. Stockwell was the first Iraq war veteran to qualify for the Paralympic Games when she competed in swimming at the 2008 Paralympics in Beijing.


October 21, 2021

FIERCE AND FEARLESS

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Syracuse Basketball Star Set To Return To The Court After Beating Cancer

At just 24 years old, Syracuse point guard Tiana Mangakahia never expected to have any worries aside from basketball.

The Australian native had just finished a stellar junior season for the Orange and was the team’s star player heading into her senior year. She had been picked by the Australian national team for their preliminary roster — a gateway to the Olympic team — but the discovery of a lump on her left breast changed the course of her basketball career. Mangakahia was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer on June 17, 2019. She began an arduous eight months of treatments, including eight chemotherapy sessions, a double mastectomy, and reconstructive surgery. Rather than return home to Australia, however, Mangakahia elected to stay in Syracuse with the support of her teammates and Coach Quentin Hillsman.

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Orlando Pride Defender Wants To Help Other Women Take Control Of Their Health

Orlando Pride nutritionist Rikki Keen was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2018. As an active and healthy young woman, she never expected to have such a life-altering health issue early in life. However, Keen learned that everyone, no matter their age or health status, may be susceptible to this disease. After recovering from cancer, Keen decided to share her experience with the Pride team to encourage the women to get tested.

“The chances [of getting breast cancer] are one of eight, so the chances are good that it’s not gonna happen. But don’t think you can’t be that one,” she told the team, as reported by Sports Illustrated.

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EDITOR'S PICK

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Carolyn Petschler’s Brave Journey To The Finish Line

During a particularly rough time, while struggling with Crohn’s disease and a recent foot injury, Carolyn Petschler made a precautionary trip to the doctor to get herself examined after a colleague was diagnosed with advanced-stage breast cancer.

“It was a really big wake-up call,” Petschler said when speaking of her colleague’s diagnosis. “So I went in and decided to get a mammogram. I hadn’t had one for 10 years, but I felt the lump, and [it] turned out that it was a cyst. But what I didn’t know is that [the doctors] would find two other lumps, one in each breast. I then went in for a biopsy and it turns out it’s radial scar tissue and [the doctors] called it ‘other areas of concern.’ So now I’m being monitored for the next two years and I’ll get mammograms every six months or so.”

Petschler still found the unimaginable strength and fortitude to compete in the New York Marathon this November, which just so happens to be the marathon’s 50th Anniversary.

This GoodSport article was originally published in Sports Illustrated on Oct. 19, 2021.

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SURVIVOR'S CORNER

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Women In Sports: Survivors Of Breast Cancer

This month, GoodSport would like to highlight women who have not only battled but conquered breast cancer, and continue to be an advocate for women all over the world. Here are just a few amazing athletes who are here today to tell their stories:

Four-time Olympic high jumper Chaunté Lowe was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2019, and soon after, contracted COVID-19. Lowe's goal of participating in her fifth Olympics was now in jeopardy. This did not deter her, however, as Lowe began training despite adversity. Lowe did not qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, Lowe is now cancer-free and an advocate for early cancer detection.

Dorothy Hamill was one of the most decorated American figure skaters. She’s won multiple championships and an Olympic medal. In 2007, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Hamill’s mother also battled breast cancer and survived. In 2016, she alongside Biotheranostics launched a campaign to encourage breast cancer survivors to understand that knowledge is power in the fight against breast cancer.

Edna Campbell is a retired WNBA player who is recognized for her dedication and perseverance because she continued to play despite battling breast cancer. She became the WNBA’s national spokesperson for its anti-cancer efforts with the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Campbell’s return from breast cancer was nominated by fans as “Most Inspirational” and one of the top four WNBA Anniversary decade moments. She is now the Founder and Program Director of “Breathe and Stretch,” a health restoration program for breast cancer survivors.

Martina Navratilova is a former American professional tennis player and coach. She was diagnosed with breast cancer later in life. Navratilova had the tumor removed and received radiation therapy that summer. She is not only an inspirational cancer survivor but also an incredible tennis player.

Peggy Fleming is a legendary figure skater, earning a variety of medals. After her figure skating career, Fleming was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1998. Luckily, it was caught early and with the surgery, she was cancer-free. She is now a breast cancer activist and serves as a TV commentator in figure skating.

Jamaican runner Novlene Williams-Mills was diagnosed with breast cancer just before the 2012 London Olympics. She chose to compete and underwent a double mastectomy soon after the competition.

STATS THAT MATTER

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1. About 1 in 8 U.S. women — about 13% — will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of their lifetime.

2. For women in the U.S., breast cancer death rates are higher than those for any other cancer, besides lung cancer.

3. In 2021, an estimated 281,550 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S., along with 49,290 new cases of non-invasive — in situ — breast cancer.

4. A woman’s risk of breast cancer nearly doubles if she has a first-degree relative — mother, sister, or daughter — who has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Less than 15% of women who get breast cancer have a family member diagnosed with it.

Via: breastcancer.org and novusbio.com

BEFORE YOU GO, GIF US A SECOND

Kikkan Randall is an American cross-country skier who also battled aggressive breast cancer. Three months after winning an Olympic gold medal in 2018, and just a few weeks after officially retiring from skiing, Randall received the heartbreaking diagnosis. “The timing for these kinds of things is never right,” Randall said. She went through intensive chemotherapy and is now cancer-free. Since retiring, Randall has become an advocate for fighting cancer and has taken more time to focus on her family.