In 2008 I wrote a law review article concerning girls only being prohibited from running 5,000 meters in high school cross country. (A copy can be downloaded here http://jonlittlelaw.com/athletics). Today ESPN ran the following story on its website (http://espn.go.com/high-school/girl/conversations/_/id/7906220/in-10-states-girls-run-shorter-cross-country-races-boys-why)
While researching my article I found that none of the state athletic associations I spoke with had any legitimate reasons for keeping girls from running 5k. Justifications varied from, “it will hurt their reproductive chances” to the typical sports administrator answer, “that is the way it has always been.” Both are non-sense, but sadly both represent common attitudes towards female athletes.
USA Swimming has turned a blind eye to the sexual molestation of hundreds of young girls. USA Taekwondo has ignored the rapes of numerous athletes at the hands of its coaches. USA Gymnastics has had a historical infestation of child molesters almost on par with USA Swimming.
Whether it is doubting their physical capabilities as in high school and college cross country or ignoring the sexual exploitation at the highest level of their sports, female athletes are still very much fighting for dignity and respect.
If you are member of USOC NGB go vote at your appropriate meeting. Challenge your “elected” leadership on their record regarding gender equality.