NCAA threatens to pull championship games from states passing transphobic laws

ACLU says that 28 states currently considering anti-transgender bills

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Monday 12 April 2021 22:40 BST

Florida lawmakers consider banning transgender female athletes from sports

The NCAA says that it will not host its championships in states passing transphobic laws.

Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas have already passed bills that would prevent transgender girls from competing in girls sports.

And the ACLU says that 28 states are currently considering anti-transgender bills that would impact access to health care or sports participation.

Now the governing body of inter-collegiate sports in the United States says it will not hold its events in places that do not create an environment “free of discrimination.”

“The NCAA Board of Governors firmly and unequivocally supports the opportunity for transgender student-athletes to compete in college sports,” the NCAA said in a statement on Monday.

“This commitment is grounded in our values of inclusion and fair competition.”

And they added: “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. 

“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.

The NCAA’s policy since 2010 allows transgender women to compete in its competitions.

“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 US Olympic and Paralympic Committee,” they added.

“Inclusion and fairness can coexist for all student-athletes, including transgender athletes, at all levels of sport.”

Advocates for transgender athletes have called on the NCAA to support transgender athletes and avoid those states that pass discriminatory laws.

“This is a moment of national crisis where the rights and very existence of transgender young people are under attack,” said Human Rights Campaign president Alphonso David. 

“This year, state legislative sessions mark the highest number of anti-transgender bills in history, more than 50, which target the ability of transgender athletes to participate in sports.”

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