21st Century Fox has strengthened its partnership with the Women’s Sports Foundation (WSF) with the release of a free Battle of the Sexes curriculum guide for the classroom. Inspired by the true story of world tennis champion and WSF founder, Billie Jean King, the curriculum offers materials for teachers to guide their students through discussions on sexism, LGBT rights, inclusion, and the landmark Title IX legislation, as well as handouts and activities to supplement key themes. Along with the curriculum’s release, 21CF is also making DVD copies of Fox Searchlight’s Battle of the Sexes available free of charge to educators in high school and college classrooms across the United States.
Battle of the Sexes tells the story of the historic 1973 tennis match between King and former men’s world champion, Bobby Riggs, played by Emma Stone and Steve Carrell. One of the most watched sporting events of all time, the match represented a convergence of the social and cultural issues underway, including LGBT acceptance and the fight for equal pay between men and women. King rose to enduring prominence not just for her unrivaled tennis skills, but also her relentless advocacy for female and LGBT athletes. “I knew this match was about social change. It wasn't [just] about tennis,” she said in a recent interview. “All I wanted was to get the essence of the fight for equality and what we were going through on all fronts… We need equal pay for equal work.” After the Battle of the Sexes match, she founded the Women’s Sports Foundation, and has led the organization in awarding over $50 million in educational and financial grants to advance participation, research, and leadership of girls and women in sports.
21st Century Fox helped fund the creation and distribution of the curriculum guide by donating 79 cents to WSF from every ticket sold during the film’s September 2017 opening weekend—drawing symbolic attention to the 79 cents that women in the United States earn for every dollar paid to men for the same work. A portion of the donation also went to a special edition of WSF’s Travel and Training Fund, which provides financial support to promising female athletes who could not otherwise afford coaching, equipment, and necessary travel.
The film campaign continues a long running relationship between 21st Century Fox and the Women’s Sports Foundation to help ensure equal access to sports. Since 2014, 21CF businesses have collectively donated over $1 million to WSF, and 21CF, FOX Sports, and Fox Networks Group regularly support WSF's Annual Salute to Women in Sports, a gala recognizing the world's top female athletes.
High school and college teachers in the US can download the Battle of the Sexes curriculum and request a free DVD to screen the movie for students at www.foxconnect.com/battleofthesexes.
Learn more about the Women’s Sports Foundation, including their research into how sports programs benefit young girls, their grant and scholarship programs, and more.