A trailblazer in sports journalism, Jackie MacMullan reported on Title IX, women’s fight for equity


FOXBOROUGH — Now retired as a sporting activities journalism trailblazer and a previous World columnist, Jackie MacMullan preached a single of the industry’s finest moral requirements when she admired the shining Title IX necklace that was offered to her on Thursday.

“I was just expressing that I’m happy I retired, or I would not have been in a position to acknowledge it because journalists aren’t authorized to accept gifts,” MacMullan remarked. “I’m really satisfied I’m retired to take this sort of a good acknowledgment of Title IX.”

It was a token of appreciation supplied to the panelists of the “Equal Play” occasion at Gillette Stadium. The afternoon honored the 50th anniversary of Title IX and was hosted by Kraft Sports activities & Amusement and Kraft Analytics Group.

Tennis all-star Billie Jean King, the headliner of the occasion, joined practically. Other speakers bundled Michele Roberts, the former executive director of the Nationwide Basketball Gamers Affiliation, retired US women’s national soccer staff participant Kristine Lilly, retired Harvard women’s basketball mentor Kathy Delaney-Smith, and NFL Network reporter Kayla Burton.

More than 800 men and women from 50 schools and universities and 17 specialist sports teams attended the afternoon’s festivities. Patriots veteran security Devin McCourty made an appearance.

“This was an critical working day. It is an important event and it’s an crucial law,” MacMullan explained. “I’m anxious about the place the place is headed at occasions. Equity for ladies, to me, is nonnegotiable, so I was actually joyful to be right here nowadays.”

MacMullan, 61, will be inducted into the Nationwide Sportswriters Affiliation Hall of Fame afterwards this month. The honor will increase to these she has beforehand obtained, including the PEN/ESPN Lifetime Accomplishment Award for Literary Athletics Writing and The Association for Gals in Sporting activities Media’s Mary Garber Pioneer Award.

Just after retiring from ESPN in August 2021, MacMullan moved to the New Hampshire seacoast and has picked up a handful of new hobbies.

“I have an amazing backyard [and] I bought a fowl book,” MacMullan stated. “I just constructed two bluebird bins, they hatch in March, so I’ve skipped this 12 months, but I’m a hen nerd now.

“I’ve taken up golfing and I’m likely to destroy anyone, so just remain away if you see me swinging.”

MacMullan joined The World out of school in 1982 as an intern. In 2002, she grew to become the initially woman athletics columnist in Globe record.

Even though her time at the publication was admirable, MacMullan did share one personal lament.

“I was 21 many years outdated when I obtained hired at The Globe, I was the only lady writer in the division at that time and I protected regardless of what they explained to me to address,” MacMullan stated. “As I reported, I did my pro bono with the women’s stories on my possess time.

“I ought to have fought more difficult for girls at that newspaper. I should’ve fought more durable for a lot more tales. I must have fought more durable for not just me, but any one on that personnel to be crafting. That’s the regret I have.”


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