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Katie Groke Ellis

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Another Step Back for Women's Sports

Posted: 02/ 1/2012 12:35 pm

This week, news came out that the Women's Professional Soccer League had cancelled their 2012 season. This breaks my heart. Women's athletics in this country just can't catch a break. On the heels of the U.S. Women's soccer team winning the CONCACAF Cup and qualifying for this summer's Olympics in London, the cancellation of the WPS season is such a disappointment to soccer fans everywhere. Just last summer the U.S. Women's team won the hearts of millions of Americans in the Women's World Cup, even catapulting Hope Solo to dance her way into popular culture on Dancing With the Stars. Just when these women prove again and again that they are the best female athletes in the world, their home country cannot support them.

This country has to do a better job at supporting women's athletics both financially and in spirit. We need to attend more women's sporting events, we need to watch more women's sporting events on TV and we need to encourage every young woman in our lives to get out there and play! Until this country can better support women's sports, especially women's professional soccer, we will continue to see the lack of opportunities exist for more than 50% of our population.

In almost four decades since Title IX passed, these female players work just as hard as any of their male counterparts with a lot less fanfare. They hit the ground to find support in youth players and constantly go up against brick walls with the media and their lack of coverage. Title IX is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year and though it has afforded so many women with more opportunities than we could have ever imagined, should we be happy with where women's athletics stands today? Why are there still so many negative myths out there about a law that has literally changed lives?

I am a proud product of Title IX and the women's soccer movement in the United States. If it weren't for these opportunities I would not be where I am today, still fighting for women's equality. This country can do better.