By powerful, I mean the ability to get things done. Like if they want to have an event on TV, or start a new tournament, or get 200 celebrities to a charity event, or get multi-million dollars donations to charity from corporations, or get the government to act on certain issues. I'm specifically NOT asking who's popular, or who makes the most money.
Bille Jean King is the founder of the Women's Sports Foundation, which is the organization that essentially created Title IX, which opened up sports to entire generation of women. A 20 year old American female can't really concieve of an entire society where women were discouraged from playing sports. But that was the USA pre-BJK. She IS #3 among women on the alltime list of GS titles, with 37, but it was her tireless work promoting women's sports that makes her the most most influential female tennis player in history. She understood the politics, and the corporate politics (I met her in an elevator when she was on her way to seperate yet another coporate marketing department form their cash.
She has a VERY full Rolodex.
The thread that inspired this one
, offers a few good names,
Sheila Johnson - Co-founded Black Entertainment Television, part-owner of the Washington Mystics of the WNBA, the Washington Wizards of the NBA and the Washington Capitals of the NHL in May.
Donna Orender - Commissioner of the WNBA.
Amy Trask - The CEO of the Oakland Raiders
Lesa France Kennedy - President of International Speedway Corp.
Donna Lopiano - The executive director of the Women's Sports Foundation
By now, you've noticed the total absence of active players.
Outside of Serena Williams, who using tennis to jump-start a fashion company AND an acting career, I can't think of an active athlete who even has the time. Certainly the charity side of the MacDonald's Tour prove Serena has SOME clout, at least in partnership with her sister, but BJK she's not.
So, now that we have easy answers off the street, who are the most powerful women in sports?
Olga Morozova has some clout I know. Also Pat Head Summit, the women's basketball coach at Tennessee. ('Head Summit'. What an alpha name.)