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Equal Opportunity in Sports

Written by Posted On Friday, 09 April 2021 00:00

With the men’s NCAA basketball March Madness being completed tonight (April 5th) and the NCAA women’s finals now settled, the furor raised by women in terms of equal treatment again became prominent.  One item being discussed: Should the NCAA women’s final four also be termed “March Madness.” The response here is “Why not?” Both men’s and women’s NCAA final fours are played during the month of March, although they both seemingly finish the first week in April. Is this a Title lX issue?

“Title lX of the Education Amendments Law of 1972 (yes, it is now one-half century old) is a federal law that states ‘No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex be excluded from participation in, or be subjected to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.” While the law is certainly one of justice, its interpretation has lawyers and courts working overtime. Is an organization or T*E*A*M the same as a person? Is lack of funds available for a sport, discrimination?

Much has been discussed lately that the women’s weight room facilities are not in equal terms with the men’s. Should they be equal in every aspect? It is certainly only fair that every attempt be made to supply the women’s training program with every means possible to assist them in their competitions. Fair, yes, but equal? I have long believed: “There is nothing so unequal as the equal treatment of un-equals.” That doesn’t mean men should get more than women. It means that the women’s program should receive all that is necessary to provide the best possible results for those athletes.

In terms of equal opportunity, it is interesting to note that as of April 1st, the Miami Marlins baseball club under the direction of CEO and part-owner Derek Jeter, hired its first woman as general manager, Kim Ng. She is of Asian-American heritage, but born in Indiana and raised in New York, where she had been trained as Yankees assistant general manager with Jeter, their star shortstop. Jeter has known Ng for 22 years. Joe Torre was general manager. The Yankees won three World Series during that time.

When Ng got the call from Jeter, she called Torre who told Ng, “This isn’t a token call (some certainly are), if he’s (Jeter) asking, you know it’s serious.”

Will you give others, without discrimination, an opportunity to succeed?

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Dr. Jim Tunney

Jim Tunney had an exemplary career in sports. A former high school coach, teacher, principal and district superintendent, he had a 40-year career in officiating football and basketball.

Thirty-one of those years he was an NFL Referee working a record twenty-nine post-season games including four Super Bowls, ten NFC/AFC Championship games, six Pro Bowls and twenty-five Monday Night Games.

He officiated some of the most memorable games in NFL history. His book Impartial Judgment: “The Dean of NFL Referees” Calls Pro Football As He Sees It, chronicles his NFL career.

As a Professional Speaker, he is Past President of The National Speakers Association and a Charter Member of its most prestigious group – The CPAE Speakers Hall of Fame. Jim holds every professional designation of the NSA, including the Oscar of Professional Speaking – The Cavett. NSA named him Philanthropist of the Year in 2007.

Dr. Tunney (a doctorate in Education from the University of Southern California) continues to serve his community as  Trustee Emeritus of both Monterey Peninsula College and York School; where he once served as Headmaster. In 1993, he founded the Jim Tunney Youth Foundation to support local community programs that develop leadership, work skills, wellness and self-esteem in youth. He and his wife Linda live in Pebble Beach, California. They have six children and sixteen grandchildren.

As an author he has written and/or co-authored thirteen books: Impartial Judgment, Chicken Soup for the Sports Fan’s Soul, Speaking Secrets of the Masters, You Can Do It!, Super Bowl Sunday, Insights into Excellence, Lessons in Leadership, Build a Better You and his most recent book, It’s the Will, Not the Skill.

If you are looking for a keynote speaker who educates, motivates and entertains with a lifetime of stories about leadership, team building and sports 831-595-3258.

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