Nixon had four major sports issues during his five years in office.
It was 49 years ago on August 9th, 1974 that Richard Nixon resigned as the President of the United States because of the June 1972 Watergate hotel break-in of the Democratic National Committee’s headquarters in Washington, D. C. looking for dirt. Nixon’s record is still being evaluated nearly a half century later but Nixon did have an impact on the sports world. He failed to persuade the International Olympic Committee President Avery Brundage to end the 1972 Munich Summer Olympics after a terrorist attack that left nine Israeli athletes and two Israeli coaches dead. Nixon used a US-Red China ping pong exchange in 1971 as an opening to start relations with Red China that allowed him to go to Red China in 1972. Nixon also weighed in on the National Football League’s TV policy that had local games blacked out in a team’s market even if the game was a sellout. Nixon was particularly disturbed that he could not watch a Green Bay-Washington playoff game in December 1972. In 1973 Congress passed a law banning the NFL from blacking out any game that was sold out at least 72 hours before kickoff. It was the basis for today’s NFL TV policy.
Nixon’s greatest sports achievement was the signing of the 1972 Title IX legislation which was designed to give women an equal opportunity at getting into law school, medical school and other courses that would allow women to succeed in the workplace. The law was never intended to just include equal opportunity at athletics but somehow Title IX has morphed into just that. A college sports law creating opportunities for women in athletics. Nixon signed the law on June 23rd, 1972 but oddly enough at the signing ceremony Nixon really didn’t talk about the legislation which eventually would impact hundreds of millions of women including Americans and foreign nationals. Nixon impacted sports.
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