Letter: Downriver Athletic League Policy Discriminates Against Female Athletes

Dear Athletic Directors of the Downriver Athletic League:
We were surprised and disappointed to learn that the Downriver Athletic League (DAL) athletic directors have adopted a policy to treat girls’ high school basketball programs less favorably than boys’ basketball programs. 

Although the DAL assigns three referees to officiate all boys’ league games, the league authorized member schools to hire just two referees for the girls’ games. 

This discriminatory policy not only violates Title IX of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title IX), but also sends a damaging message to female athletes that they are second class citizens. 

Our women and girls deserve equal treatment. The law requires that they receive it.
We therefore urge you to repeal this illegal policy and immediately begin assigning three referees to all girls’ basketball games.
Before the passage of Title IX, only 294,015 high school girls participated in school sports, as compared to more than 3.6 million boys. Women were also severely underrepresented in university admissions and tenure appointments.

Collectively, these lopsided numbers reflected and reinforced corrosive and unjustified discrimination against women throughout the educational system.

In reaction, Title IX was introduced to “provide for women of America something that is rightfully theirs – an equal chance to attend the schools of their choice, to develop the skills they want, and to apply those skills with the knowledge that they will have a fair chance to secure the jobs of their choice.

Read the rest of our letter here (pdf)

Key News and Documents

 Our Cases - Title IX and the Downriver League

Press Release - Female Athletes Must be Treated Equally, ACLU Tells Local Schools