Nine for IX Premieres Tonight
Back in 2009, ESPN launched its 30 for 30 series, celebrating three decades of sports stories both overlooked and underappreciated. But this time around, the sports network is showcasing its feminine side.
After last summer's 40th anniversary of Title IX – the 1972 ruling that stated, in part, that no person should be excluded from participating in sports on the basis of gender – executive producers Robin Roberts and Jane Rosenthal decided to collect equally inspiring documentaries on the history of women in sports.
The series, appropriately dubbed Nine for IX, kicks off tonight with Ava DuVernay's Venus Vs. – the story of Venus Williams' battle to win women equal pay at Wimbledon (the 2013 finals of which are happening this weekend) and the French Open. In subsequent weeks over the course of the summer, viewers will be treated to eight more impressive documentaries by award-winning (and female) filmmakers, covering sports from basketball to diving and everything in between.
The complete slate is below, followed by a trailer for the series:
July 2: Venus Vs. (D: Ava DuVernay): Tennis star Venus Williams fights for equal pay.
July 9: Pat XO (D: Lisa Lax and Nancy Stern Winters): The winningest NCAA coach in history finally has her story told.
July 16: Let Them Wear Towels (D: Annie Sundberg and Ricki Stern): What happened after a female journalist was sexually harassed by a football player?
July 23: No Limits (D: Alison Ellwood): Scoliosis and free diving meet in Audrey Mestre's story.
July 30: Swoopes (D: Hannah Storm): Sheryl Swoopes of the Houston Comets is so much more than a basketball superstar.
Aug. 6: The Diplomat (D: Jennifer Arnold and Senain Kheshgi): Katarina Witt was one of the most famous figure skaters at the height of the Cold War.
Aug. 13: Runner (D: Shola Lynch): The collision between Mary Decker and Zola Budd at the 1984 Olympic Games is "one of the most infamous moments in sports history."
Aug. 20: The '99ers (D: Erin Leyden): This U.S. soccer team changed the face of the sport for decades to come.
Aug. 27: Branded (D: Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady): Athleticism is one thing, but society's expectation for sexy women superstars is another altogether.
ESPN Films and ESPNW present Nine for IX, July 2-Aug. 27, Tuesdays at 7pm CT. For more on the series and its films, visit the ESPN website.