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By Ken Reed

ESPN has announced a new documentary series, Nine for IX, that focuses on women in sports through the eyes of female filmmakers. The nine films will air weekly and premier on July 2nd on ESPN. The series is modeled after ESPN’s successful 30 for 30 sports documentary series.

This is a terrific development for girls and women in sports, especially coming off the 40th anniversary celebration of Title IX. ESPN should be commended for the move, especially the fact that they’ll be using female filmmakers to develop the series.

Unfortunately, it begs the question, “Why weren’t women in sports part of the original 30 for 30 series?”

Only three of ESPN’s 51 “30 for 30″ films have told the stories of female athletes.

“While ESPN has taken many positive steps to boost women’s sports and the roles of women in sports, and while it is rightly celebrating the success of Title IX, it shouldn’t need a special anniversary to talk about women in sports and the challenges they still face,” wrote Travis Waldron. “And it shouldn’t need a special event to turn the cameras over to female directors. That it does serves as yet another indication of how far women in the world of sports have to go, even four decades after Title IX became law.”

Here’s hoping we won’t need a special documentary series for women in sports 40 years from now.

Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans

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