CHICAGO (WLS) -- Basketball player Candace Parker and tennis legend Billie Jean King are among the women athletes honored by Chicago as heroes of Title IX.
Just watching DePaul women's basketball players practicing on the court Tuesday afternoon is a demonstration of Title IX in action. None of them would likely be there if not for the simple, 37 word law that ensured women would have equal opportunities in education programming and activities - including sports.
"It's not just about sports. It's about culture, our country, our history," said sportswriter Christine Brennan.
Brennan joined Mayor Lori Lightfoot and others Tuesday for a panel discussion of the significance of Title IX. The city is honoring Parker, King and a third Title IX hero, DePaul women's coach Doug Bruno, Tuesday night.
"I am here as a mouthpiece but it's those women in the 60's and 70's that are the true champions for Title IX," Bruno said.
When it comes to equality in women's sports, tennis star Billie Jean King gets much of the credit for her famous Battle of the Sexes match with Bobby Riggs in 1973. King won and launched a movement in the process. The city is honoring her with the Legend of Title IX award.
King served as a role model for young women athletes everywhere, including Chicago Sky star Candace Parker who was born more than a decade after the match. Parker is also being honored with the Title IX Leader award.
"Billie Jean King is one of those people that I had to pinch myself when I first met her," Parker said. "I was in college when I first met her and, you know, you read about her in your history book and when you think of gender equity, it's her name."
"We are happy to be at this place but so many women are not treated equally," Bruno said.