Some of the most influential women in sports tell their stories of courage, adversity, and triumph to trailblazer Bonnie-Jill Laflin.
A half-century after Title IX legislation leveled the playing field for women and girls, the time has come to celebrate the lives and careers of some of the most notable groundbreaking women in sports, while also encouraging future generations to make history of their own.
In a League of Her Own: Celebrating Female Firsts in Sports shares the stories of nineteen impactful women in sports, including Billie Jean King, Danica Patrick, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Laila Ali, Jeanie Buss, and Mary Lou Retton. These iconic women open up to Bonnie-Jill Laflin, herself a trailblazer as the first and only female NBA scout, about the sobering realities females face in the sports world and the many obstacles they had to overcome. But they also celebrate the amazing support they received from colleagues, friends, family, and the women who came before them, and impart their own desires to inspire young women through their stories.
In a League of Her Own gives these remarkable women a voice to share their experiences across the sports industry. They discuss such issues as the pressures of social media, the sexism that still exists in boardrooms and locker rooms, and their hopes for closer equality in the sports space. Their journeys are each unique, but together, they have changed the face of sports and culture forever.
Bonnie-Jill Laflin is a trailblazing sports broadcaster, TV personality, author, and philanthropist. She is the first and only female NBA scout, holding the front-office executive position with the Los Angeles Lakers, and the first woman to dance at a professional level for three teams in two sports—the NBA’s Golden State Warriors and the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys. She is the first woman to be awarded six championship rings in two professional sports, earning a Super Bowl ring and five NBA championship rings. Laflin is co-host of the brand-new “Women’s Western Sports Roundup” on the Cowgirl Channel and has reported for many high-profile networks, including ESPN, NBA TV, NBC/NBC Sports, NFL Films, CBS, E!, BBC Sports, SiriusXM, and Fox Sports. She is founder of the non-profit Hounds and Heroes and Horses and resides on her ranch in Fort Worth, Texas, with her rescued animals.
1: Billie Jean King: Tennis Player
2: Nancy Lieberman: Basketball Player
3: Jayne Kennedy: Sports Broadcaster
4: Martha Josey: Barrel Racer
5: Jackie Joyner-Kersee: Track and Field Olympian
6: Mary Lou Retton: Olympic Gymnast
7: Amy Trask: NFL Executive
8: Julie Krone: Jockey
9: Manon Rhéaume: Canadian Ice Hockey Goaltender
10: Laila Ali: Professional Boxer
11: Trish Stratus: Professional Wrestler/Sports Entertainer
12: Renel Brooks-Moon: Public Address Announcer for the
San Francisco Giants
13: Danica Patrick: Racecar Driver
14: Melissa Stockwell: Paralympian
15: Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir: Former collegiate basketball player
16: Jeanie Buss: Owner of the Los Angeles Lakers
17: Rachel Balkovec: Baseball manager in the New York Yankees organization
18: Rachel Luba: Sports Agent
19: Katie Sowers: NFL Coach
Who better to share the stories of female firsts in sports than Laflin? Her wide-ranging career path includes stints as a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader, sports broadcaster, and first female NBA scout (for the Los Angeles Lakers). This easy-to-read collection of interviews with 19 women spotlights well-known athletes such as Billie Jean King (tennis) and Laila Ali (boxing) as well as those less familiar, like Martha Josey (barrel racing) and Army veteran Melissa Stockwell (Paralympic triathlete and swimmer). What makes this book stand out is the inclusion of women in the sports industry, like NFL executive Amy Trask and New York Yankees baseball manager Rachel Balkovec. Each entry is informative, with shared wisdom and entertaining anecdotes, though these are not comprehensive profiles, since some sensitive subjects—including abuse—are omitted. Nevertheless, Laflin celebrates women who share a drive to succeed in the sports world. As track-and-field titan Jackie Joyner-Kersee poignantly notes, “As a society, we must embrace and celebrate and help our young people to have fun while on their journey to becoming the best.”"
Bonnie-Jill has amassed a collection of fundamental women who changed the course of sports forever. Without the courage and strength of these women, our industry would not be the same. In a League of Her Own: Celebrating Female Firsts in Sports tells their stories in their voices via a conversation with Bonnie-Jill. It is the start of an anthology that will empower generations to come.
In a League of Her Own: Celebrating Female Firsts in Sports is a testament to the warriors who have paved the road for women in boardrooms, fields, and courts across the country. Bonnie-Jill has assembled a remarkable piece of Herstory, a true vision of women's empowerment.
An inspiring read, In a League of Her Own sheds light on the remarkable stories of female trailblazers who have broken barriers, shattered stereotypes, and paved the way for a more inclusive sporting world. This book celebrates their triumphs and reminds us that true leadership knows no gender. From the personal stories of Amy Trask to Billie Jean King, this is a must-read for anyone passionate about the future of women in sports!
In a League of Her Own is a fantastic read! Celebrating women in sports is so important for equality and education. History tells us how far we have come and this book is a wonderful representation of some of the greats whose shoulders we stand on.
In a League of Her Own features remarkable women, like Bonnie-Jill, who changed the world of sports for the better. This book is an inspiration for women and young girls, like my daughter, to know that with hard work and dedication they can do anything they set their minds to.
Bonnie-Jill has always strived for greatness and In a League of Her Own is no different. In this book, she shines a spotlight on women pioneers in the sports industry. Through their voices we hear about their journeys and personal obstacles and achievements. These women are the Greatest Of All Time and have helped pave the way for the next generation of women in sports!
How can one woman fit twenty legends into a book? Ask Bonnie-Jill Laflin and read In a League of Her Own, a candid look into the origin stories of these groundbreaking women in sports. These prominent women created the landscape of modern sports and I am grateful I am in the presence of these women today.
Women interviewed: Nadia Comaneci, Billie Jean King, Nancy Lieberman, Jayne Kennedy, Martha Josey, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Mary Lou Retton, Amy Trask, Julie Krone, Manon Rhéaume, Laila Ali, Trish Stratus, Renel Brooks-Moon, Danica Patrick, Melissa Stockwell, Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir, Jeanie Buss, Rachel Balkovec, Rachel Luba, Katie Sowers
9/9/23, Authority Magazine: A profile and interview of Bonnie-Jill Laflin in the Authority series about pop culture’s rising stars highlights the author and the forthcoming book.Link: https://medium.com/authority-magazine/inspirational-women-in-hollywood-how-bonnie-jill-laflin-is-helping-to-shake-up-the-entertainment-1552e7895113