Last year the 40th anniversary of Title IX — the Federal Civil Rights Law prohibiting discrimination based on sex in education — served as inspiration for the ESPN Films documentary series Nine for IX. The collection of nine documentaries, all of which focus on a woman or women in sports and shot by renown female directors, debuts tonight with "Venus VS." The film "Venus VS" chronicles Venus Williams' unbridled fight to see Billie Jean King's dream realized and have tournament prize money be equal between the sexes. This fight begun in 2005 as Williams' asked, "How can it be that Wimbledon finds itself on the wrong side of history?" in an Op-Ed to The London Times. She finally accomplished it in 2007 when Williams received the same amount of prize money as that year's male champion, Roger Federer.
Nine for IX will release a documentary a week, beginning tonight, for nine weeks. Among the highly anticipated films are "Let them Wear Towels," a look behind the scenes of the 1990 story of a female journalist who was sexually harassed by the players in the New England Patriots locker room.
Executively produced by Hollywood female power players Robin Roberts and Jane Rosenthal, Nine for IX celebrates women athletes and what they've achieved since Title IX was signed into law 41 years ago while highlighting the need to continue fighting for women's rights and equality in sports.