Thanks to Title IX, the sporting landscape has changed

Lifetime Player's Journal: Title IX

Academy Award winner Holly Hunter hosts Lifetime Player's Journal, a weekly intimate portrait of some of the top names in the WNBA. This week, Hunter takes a behind-the-scenes look at Title IX, the groundbreaking legislation first passed 30 years ago that has brought about more gender equity in sports. Join Hunter every Friday at 5 p.m. ET on Lifetime.

Player's Journal: Title IX
Friday, June 21, 5:00 p.m.

June 23 marks the 30th anniversary of Title IX, the landmark legislation which stated - "No person in the U.S. shall, on the basis of sex be excluded from participation in, or denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving federal aid."

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Pointing the way: Dawn Staley has benefited as a player and a college coach.
Garrett W. Ellwood
WNBAE/Getty Images
The law was based on a simple premise: that men and women should have the same opportunities to compete in sports and over the past three decades the progress in women's sports has been remarkable. Today's WNBA players are just the latest athletes to benefit form Title IX and in recognition of the opportunities gained since 1972, Player's Journal will devote an entire episode, airing on Friday June 21, in celebration of this historic law.

Reflective stories from current and past stars of the will personalize the effects of Title IX. Throughout the show, female Hall of Fame basketball legends will tell their stories and struggles of life prior to Title IX, and then during it's first years of existence and how different it was compared path to success taken by current WNBA stars like Sheryl Swoopes, Lisa Leslie and Dawn Staley -- all of whom have enjoyed the full benefits Title IX. These three women -- current WNBA superstars -- were among the stars on the 1996 USA women's Olympic team, the gold medal winning group that will be featured during the show and one that represented all that could come true for female athletes when given the opportunities of Title IX.

The program also takes a look back at professional opportunities that existed for women prior to Title IX, specifically the women's traveling teams that played against men's during the 40's, 50's and 60's.