Previewing the Women’s Equity in Sports: The Fight, the Scars, and the Thrill of Victory Public Discussion Forum panel on April 5th, 2023, Arizona Women’s Basketball Coach Adia Barnes, retired professional cyclist, author, and activist Kathryn Bertine, and Freedom Center Director and Associate Professor in the Department of Political Economy and Moral Science Mary L. Rigdon were interviewed by Arizona Daily Star sportswriter PJ Brown

The feature story highlighted the importance of women’s equity in sports and introduced the panelists. Joining Barnes and Bertine were Olympic hockey gold medalist and NHL broadcaster AJ Mleczko, Emmy and Peabody Award-winning ESPN sports journalist Sarah Spain, Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to officially register and run the Boston Marathon, and moderator and Emmy and Associated Press Award-winning journalist, KOLD News 13 Sports Director Damien Alameda. The piece also detailed the history of the Public Discussion Forum series, created by Rigdon and Freedom Center Associate Director and Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Economy and Moral Science, Saura Masconale. Finally, it described Rigdon’s and Bertine’s friendship, which led to the creation of the April 5, 2023, event hosted by the Freedom Center and co-sponsored by the American Association of University Women, Tucson Branch

Recapping the panel, Arizona Daily Star sportswriter Bruce Pascoe highlighted key points that emerged during the panel discussion, including progress made and areas where more action is required. Each of the panelists shared personal stories of their experiences. In addition, they addressed the positives and negatives of social media and exposed flawed economic arguments that have stifled more rapid growth of women’s sports.