NCAA Declares Support for Transgender Student Athletes

NCAA Declares Support for Transgender Student Athletes
(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has announced it support for transgender student-athletes and threatened not to hold championships in states that pass bills banning biological males from participating in female sports.

From the Daily Wire:

In a statement released on Monday, the NCAA said it “unequivocally” supports the transgender community and expressed no misgivings about the real prospect of biological men outcompeting women in their given sport.

“The NCAA Board of Governors firmly and unequivocally supports the opportunity for transgender student-athletes to compete in college sports. This commitment is grounded in our values of inclusion and fair competition,” the NCAA said.

The organization insisted it could hold fair competition for female athletes by requiring testosterone therapy, despite the fact that limited research has called into question the efficacy of the treatment:

“The NCAA has a long-standing policy that provides a more inclusive path for transgender participation in college sports,” the NCAA said. “Our approach — which requires testosterone suppression treatment for transgender women to compete in women’s sports — embraces the evolving science on this issue and is anchored in participation policies of both the International Olympic Committee and the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee. Inclusion and fairness can coexist for all student-athletes, including transgender athletes, at all levels of sport. Our clear expectation as the Association’s top governing body is that all student-athletes will be treated with dignity and respect. We are committed to ensuring that NCAA championships are open for all who earn the right to compete in them.”

The NCAA then went on to say it will seek to only play championships in places “free of discrimination,” a not so subtle shot at states seeking to pass legislation that ban transgender athletes from female competition:

“When determining where championships are held, NCAA policy directs that only locations where hosts can commit to providing an environment that is safe, healthy and free of discrimination should be selected,” it concluded. “We will continue to closely monitor these situations to determine whether NCAA championships can be conducted in ways that are welcoming and respectful of all participants.”

At least 30 states have had some form of legislation proposed that would ban biological males from participating in female sports, with legislatures in Tennessee, Mississippi, and Arkansas having already passed the laws.

South Dakota’s legislature passed a similar effort last month, but that legislation was vetoed by Gov. Kristi Noem over concerns that the language was too vague.

“Unfortunately, as I have studied this legislation and conferred with legal experts over the past several days, I have become concerned that this bill’s vague and overly broad language could have significant unintended consequences,” Noem said in a letter to state lawmakers.. “I am also concerned that the approach House Bill 1217 takes is unrealistic in the context of collegiate athletics.”

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