By Allison Ashley

It was February 18th at 7pm and rival teams Sonoma Academy and Rincon Valley Christian were playing for the girls’ varsity basketball championship tournament game for NCS Division 5. RVC had already beaten SA three times during the season, so SA was looking for a big win! After coming from behind in the third quarter and being neck and neck in the fourth quarter, SA ended up the winner (47-46), only beating RVC by one point! Along with winning came the 2011 championship title, a huge trophy, and the pride the SA players felt knowing they had finally beaten their long-standing rivals. As a member of the team, believe me when I say that NOTHING is better than that!

After the girls’ game ended, it was time for the boys’ teams from Tomales and Roseland University Prep to take the court for their league tournament final game. Before the boys’ game began, everyone was asked to stand for the singing of the national anthem. That’s when the SA girls’ basketball team and parents noticed that the national anthem was never played before their game. As a player on the SA girls’ basketball team, I began to wonder: did they think our game wasn’t as important as the boys’? How is this fair?

The point of the national anthem is to honor the United States, a country where everyone is free and discrimination of any kind is not tolerated. On the night of that important girls’ basketball game, my teammates, the RVC players, coaches, fans and I were never asked the question, “Will you please rise for our national anthem?” Did we not deserve the honor of being asked the question that is asked at stadiums and before sports games around the country just because we were girls?

Title IX, enacted in 1972, is a U.S. Law that has been credited with encouraging much of the growth in women’s sports in high school and colleges in the United States. Title IX is most known for its impact on equity in women’s high school and collegiate athletics.

Title IX states that “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance…”
—United States Code Section 20

After that championship basketball game, I am now wondering just how many micro-inequities still exist in men’s and women’s sports even with Title IX in place?