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TRUE SPORTSMANSHIP: NFL star Andrew Luck praises women athletes in rare interview

TRUE SPORTSMANSHIP: NFL star Andrew Luck praises women athletes in rare interview

TRUE SPORTSMANSHIP: NFL star Andrew Luck praises women athletes in rare interview

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Former NFL quarterback Andrew Luck took a moment to share the spotlight on Saturday – giving praise to the women being inducted into Stanford University’s Hall of Fame. The two-time All-American was being honored by his alma mater for his induction into the College Football Hall of Fame.

“It’s the 50th anniversary of Title IX, Stanford University inducted 10 incredible women. It’s special to share this night…with women.”

The 2012 Indianapolis Colts draft pick, Luck told the interviewer, “It’s especially topical because I have two girls now, and I want my girls to have all the opportunities in the world that little boys get as well.”

Title IX is the 1972 landmark civil rights legislation that prohibits gender discrimination by an educational program or institution receiving federal funds. The 50-year-old law paved the way for women’s participation in sports at the collegiate and professional levels.

Luck gave props to legendary basketball player and coach, Tara Van Derveer, who was inducted with the women athletes for her three-decades-long coaching career. Van Derveer explained the difference between the times she came up in — before Title IX — and today, saying in an interview:

“So, I never played on a team. I never went to basketball camp. There weren’t scholarships for women. There weren’t professional women,” VanDerveer told ABC7 News, “And now, you look at someone like Nneka Ogwumike who played on scholarship, got a great education at Stanford, played professionally. Things have changed so much.”

The inductees are Stanford’s first all-female hall of fame class and feature Women’s Track and Field superstar, Linda Bernhagen Ramos, Women’s Soccer Olympic Medalist, Christen Press, and WNBA star, Nneka Ogwumike.

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Press vowed to continue fighting and “make sport more inclusive and diverse and equitable.” Ogwumike gave a speech honoring those women who came before the inductees:

“Me standing here talking to you today is a reflection of that,” Ogwumike said in a speech. ” I know there’s a lot of probably unsung heroes that never had their chance at being recognized in any way. So, we can’t forget about those that came before us and gave us this opportunity. And to be able to be celebrated in a class full of women, to commemorate 50 years of that, it’s really magical.”

Former professional quarterback Andrew Luck has stayed relatively out of the spotlight since announcing his retirement in 2018 – six years after he was drafted. His enthusiasm for being a part of such a historic moment, not just for women in sports but sports overall, is an example of what true support and allyship look like. Hopefully, we’ll see more of this and not just in sports.

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Stanford University has produced some of the most successful women’s sports programs. According to Palo Alto Online, the school’s women’s tennis, swimming, diving, volleyball, and water polo, “all hold the most national titles in the country in their respective sports.”

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Ty Ross
News journalist for Occupy Democrats.

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