Publication Date

Spring 2014

Document Type



Unless middle school and high school girls in urban, rural, and minority communities are given the opportunities to participate in the emerging women’s sports, gender equity is being only facially achieved because Title IX requirements are implemented without specific regard to detrimental impacts on the aforementioned subgroups. This Article will consider the intersection of race, gender, economic status, and community characteristics with sports participation for girls in grades K-12 and will argue that there are two categories of intentional discrimination that are both actionable under Title IX. The first is direct discrimination by a perpetrator of the discrimination — the person that directly discriminates against victims. The second intentional discrimination category is indifferent discrimination by a third-party who knows or learns of the direct discrimination, has the authority to take corrective action, but fails to take such action. The first category of discriminatory conduct is actionable as traditional intentional discrimination where liability is imposed on the perpetrator because the perpetrator’s conduct is motivated by a discriminatory purpose. The second category is more nuanced. The discriminatory actor in this case is not the direct actor. In fact, the violator may have no motive to discriminate at all, or the discrimination experienced by the victim may be unintentional. The violator in this case learns of the discriminatory effect and turns a blind eye to the injury. More accurately, the violator is indifferent to the discriminatory effect of its policies or programs. It is my contention that this second form of intentional discrimination, “deliberate indifference,” is actionable intentional discrimination under Title IX.

Publication Title

Marquette Sports Law Review