Equal Protection for Equal Play: A Constitutional Solution to Gender Discrimination in International Sports

Jenna N. Rowan · 20 Vand. J. Ent. & Tech. 919


This Note considers the extent of gender discrimination in international sports, providing an overview of gender discrimination in sports and detailing the inadequacies of current statutory remedies. Additionally, this Note describes why constitutional remedies are unavailable for these athletes, highlighting a 1987 Supreme Court case holding that sports governing bodies are not state actors. This Note proposes overruling that case to hold instead that international sports governing bodies are state actors and are, therefore, subject to the provisions in the US Constitution. Under this solution, international athletes could bring gender discrimination claims against these bodies under an equal protection rationale.