Many sports networks have done extensive projects this year and/or this month around the 50th anniversary of Title IX, from docuseries and documentaries from ESPN, Turner Sports, and NBC Sports through panels and interview series from CBS Sports and Fox Sports (which also is running a digital series of Title IX stories). Twitter certainly isn’t a traditional broadcaster, but they’re getting into that mix as well, and doing so with their Spaces audio rooms (which have already made a notable impact in the sports world). On Thursday, the @TwitterWomen account (an official account for “The women who work @Twitter and the allies who support them,” as per its bio) will be hosting a series of Title IX anniversary Spaces, with two particularly sports-focused (one on ESPN, one on the WNBA) and some focused on the wider impact of the legislation (which applies to gender-based discrimination well beyond sports), including at NASA and in Congress. Here’s their tweet announcing the panel topics:
— Twitter Women (@TwitterWomen) June 21, 2022
And here’s the full lineup for Thursday, from a Twitter release:
1:05pm ET: Space hosted by @ESPN — Women in Sports Media, Covering Women’s Sports
@elleduncanESPN, Sports Anchor, ESPN (moderator)
@SarahSpain, Sports Reporter, ESPN
@sportsiren, Sports Reporter & Play-by-Play Commentator, ESPN
@LaChinaRobinson, Basketball Analyst & Reporter, ESPN
1:45pm ET: Fireside chat — Women Changing the Political Game
@IAmAmnaNawaz, Chief Correspondent, PBS NewsHour (Moderator)
@RepDavids, US Congress (Kansas)
2:30pm ET: Fireside chat — Women of NASA: Past Present & Future
@JasmineSHopkins, Public Affairs Specialist, NASA (moderator)
Janet Petro, Director of Kennedy Space Center, NASA
3:05pm ET: Space hosted by @WNBA — 26 Years of the WNBA… What’s Next?
@ariivory, Women’s Basketball Reporter and Influencer, Bleacher Report (moderator)
@CoachFarris54, Stetson University Assistant Women’s Basketball Coach & Former WNBA Player
@SylviaCrawley00, CEO of Crawley’s Creations & Former WNBA Player and Coach
@AnnMeyers, Vice President of the Phoenix Suns & Mercury & Former Basketball Player
That release also included data on the Title IX conversation on Twitter so far:
Twitter is the place where the fight for gender equality in sports is happening – conversation about gender equality in sports rose 7% year-over-year (May 2021-May 2022 vs. May 2020-May 2021).
121K mentions of Title IX or #TitleIX over the past year from 64K unique authors (May 2021-May 2022).
Over the past 5 years, the daily average number of Tweets about NCAA women’s sports have grown +127% (May 2017 to May 2022).
And that conversation continues when those athletes go pro. From May 2017 to May 2022, daily average Tweets and authors mentioning the WNBA have nearly doubled.
Top hashtags in Title IX conversation over the past year (May 2021-May 2022):
It’s certainly interesting to see Twitter joining the broadcasters doing Title IX specials. And this is a logical way for them to do so; Spaces are a useful way for Twitter to spotlight particularly notable users, and they’ve tabbed some good voices here. As they note, too, there’s a lot of conversation about Title IX on their platform already, so it makes sense for them to focus some efforts on specific Title IX programming. We’ll see how these special Spaces work out for them Thursday.