Published in Sports Illustrated

By Billie Jean King and Darren Walker

As the founder of the Women’s Sports Foundation and the president of the Ford Foundation, we are both committed to strengthening Title IX and extending its protections to all. We were encouraged last year, when the U.S. Department of Education confirmed that Title IX shields all students from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. In other words, sports equality without LGBTQ inclusion is not equality at all. Discrimination against cisgender women and girls in sports and discrimination against transgender athletes both stem from the very same, unjust place: a rigid, exclusionary notion of femininity. The sooner we dispose of these notions and welcome all athletes into the game, the better. Because when we push for equality in sports, we open the door to diversity and inclusion across fields, and in the very fabric of our society.

The Ford Foundation

The Ford Foundation is an independent organization working to address inequality and build a future grounded in justice. For more than 85 years, it has supported visionaries on the frontlines of social change worldwide, guided by its mission to strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement. Today, with an endowment of $16 billion, the foundation has headquarters in New York and 10 regional offices across Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East.

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