Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Laphonza Butler (D-CA) joined Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Patty Murray (D-WA), and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) in leading a bipartisan resolution marking February 7th as National Girls & Women in Sports Day. This resolution not only commemorates the remarkable accomplishments of girls and women in sports, but also underscores the need for broader efforts to advance gender equity across the country.
“This resolution will shine a light on all the women who have helped uplift the next generation of athletes by inspiring them to excel both on and off the field,” said Senator Butler. “Let us celebrate the transformative power of sports and its unique ability to instill intuition, conviction, and courage into women and girls across our nation.”
“As an athlete myself and the mother of a daughter who played a college sport, I have been a strong supporter of sports and understand the variety of benefits they can have for everyone, especially women. It was an honor to work on this resolution with Sen. Feinstein and I am glad that Sen. Butler has taken up that mantle. I will continue to fight to ensure our female athletes are treated with respect and fairness in competition. Today gives us an opportunity to celebrate all the progress we have made, and to look forward to the work ahead,” Senator Capito said.
“Last year while attending Megan Rapinoe’s final home game in Seattle, and I was reminded again of what is possible when we support women and girls in sports,” said Senator Murray. “I’m proud to be a cosponsor of this bill to recognize the remarkable achievements of women and girls in sports and to recommit to the fight for equal treatment and equal pay for women athletes everywhere.”
“Sports has the power to inspire us, and our country is better, when women are empowered to participate and compete. Athletes playing in Washington state like Megan Rapinoe, Sue Bird, and so many others, have shown us just what is possible,” Sen. Cantwell said. “Now, after passage of my Equal Pay for Team USA Law, women representing Team USA receive equal pay and benefits. I’m proud to stand with my colleagues to recognize the importance of female athletes and encourage our next generation of girls to chase after their dreams.”
With the 2024 Olympics just around the corner and the recent enactment of Equal Pay for Team USA, it is more important than ever to highlight the achievements of women athletes and bring attention to the value they add to sports and our communities. According to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), only 41.2% of women coach for collegiate women’s teams compared to 90% in 1971, and BIPOC women represent only 7% of those head coaches. The Women Sports Foundation reports that college athletes still comprise only 44% of the total collegiate athletic population, of which only 14% are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. While significant headway has been made in the long history of women’s sports, this resolution will also call attention to the disparities and gaps that still need closing.
Also joining are Senators Baldwin (D-WI), Blackburn (R-TN), Cortez Masto (D-NV), Britt (R-AL), Durbin (D-IL), Collins (R-ME), Hirono (D-HI), Rosen (D-NV), and Shaheen (D-NH).
Full text of the resolution can be found here.