Wednesday, November 29, 2017

The Dean of Girls’ Sports

Kudos to BaltSun for putting Jacques Kelly in charge of writing Carol Gralia’s obituary. It’s beautifully done. Take the time to read it here

It occurs to me that the importance of the passage of Title IX in 1972 cannot be underestimated when we look at the number of local young women that Ms. Gralia covered  during her career.

Title IX:

Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 is a federal law that states: "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.

Howard County was extremely fortunate to have someone who treated the coverage of young women’s sports with the same dedication and focus as those of young men. I imagine that the presence of a local journalist who truly understood sports, who worked collaboratively with area coaches, and who made sure that those names got in the paper had a significant impact as girls’ sports programs got off the ground and strengthened during the seventies and eighties.

“She was the dean of girls’ sports in Howard County,” said Stan Rappaport, a former Baltimore Sun sports reporter and later a Howard County Times news editor. “She was impressively thorough and kept terrific records. She would surprise a coach by saying, ‘You just won your 100th game.’ She cared that girls received the same amount of coverage as boys.”
It’s clear to me that the synergy between Title IX reforms and Ms. Gralia’s progressional leadership created a positive and healthy environment for young women’s sports programs to thrive. This is not to say that she gave them preference. She simply accorded to them an equal place in the community spotlight. 

Lest you think that all such inequities have been squared away since 1972, here’s an interesting article Lexington County, South Carolina to ponder.

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