Column: Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s legacy lives on through women’s rights, athletics and beyond


Emily Burgess

Ruth Bader Ginsburg was nominated by President Bill Clinton as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court in 1993. Her tenure lasted 27 years, until she passed away on Sept. 18.

by Reese Savoie, Staff Writer

Ruth Bader Ginsburg. 

A name synonymous with strength, tenacity, equality. A name that extends so far beyond the five syllables it is composed of, a name that helped pave the way for millions of women in America to possess some of the most fundamental rights granted to us. 

It is the name of a hero. 

A hero who donned a robe in favor of a cape. 

A hero who served as only the second female Associate Justice on the United States Supreme Court. 

A hero who was taken from us on September 18, 2020. 

Her legacy, however, lives on, and can be found in the spirit of women across the nation. From the courthouse to courtside, women continue to pave the way for gender equality and leadership. 

San Diego State women’s basketball senior guard Téa Adams said she appreciates RBG’s notoriety and influence.  

“Being a woman that has a leadership role, I think it’s important to show future generations what that should look like,” Adams said. “I think that (Ginsburg) got the ball rolling on change for gender equality. It’s an opportunity for me to be able to speak out and people will listen, so she’s really set the tone for that.” 

SDSU women’s soccer senior defender Sarah Broacha said her impact goes way beyond her role in the Supreme Court. 

“She’s had a huge impact on all women,” Broacha said. “It’s so crazy how much she changed things for us. She gave women in leadership positions the opportunity to use their voice for something bigger. 

“Being a leader, that’s what you have to do: you have to stand up for what you believe in, even though it’s against popular opinion.” 

Using one’s voice is something both Adams and Broacha appreciate. As leaders both on and off their respective fields of play, both athletes understand the importance of utilizing their platform as a space to create change and empowerment. 

Both Adams and Broacha are seniors on their respective teams. With this position comes a responsibility to act as a role model and mentor for younger student-athletes. 

“It makes me realize how people in these positions have more ability to kind of speak up and voice opinions,” Broacha said of her role as a leader on the field. “A lot of people on the team come to me or come to (Chloe Frisch, senior midfielder) and they want us to voice the overall opinion to someone higher up, or to kind of speak up for them. I mean, the people that don’t feel like they have the voice or the ability to share that. It’s nice that we can provide that for them, and also have a way to express our voices as well and be heard more easily.”

Much like the Supreme Court, where RBG served throughout her time as Associate Justice, the sports world is incredibly male-dominated. 

Broacha recognizes this. 

“There’s still some sort of bias to this day, and even though we continue to break down that thought process, I guess it still exists,” Broacha said. 

RBG’s grit and perseverance broke down barriers for women across the nation. The Equal Credit Opportunity Act, Pregnancy Discrimination Act and the ruling on the United States v. Virginia case are just a few of the accomplishments noted on RBG’s lengthy resumé in her fight for gender equality. 

Similarly, female athletes continue to break down barriers for women in sports. 

“Hearing about what (Ginsburg) has accomplished, and also just being a woman in sports, it kind of gives me hope that at least we can have an impact somehow, and be there to represent ourselves the fullest that we can,” Broacha said. 

That representation is key to a world in which women and men have equal opportunity — in and out of the workplace. RBG’s legacy aims to continue the progression of women’s rights in this generation and ones to follow.

“She just gave me hope, and hope for a better future for all of us,” Adams said. “She fought to give us a chance, an equal shot in our lives and equal opportunity and for women to have a voice.”

There is no doubt that RBG was an icon, a revolutionary and a champion. 

Much like RBG herself, Broacha aims to leave her own legacy behind. 

“What I kind of pride myself on is being myself, no matter what,” Broacha said. “I like to kind of just be who I am in both scenarios, like be who I am on the field and also who I am off the field. Just kind of being a leader in all aspects of my life is what I try to accomplish. I want to be someone that people look up to and respect, but also someone that they know is approachable and there for them on and off the field.

Adams said she plans on making an impact on the court, even after her days of donning the Scarlet and Black are over. 

“I want to leave a legacy that people can look back on and think: I want to be like her,” Adams said.