Female Athletes Sue NCAA Over Trans Policy

Female Athletes Sue NCAA Over Trans Policy

A group of 16 athletes has filed a class-action complaint in U.S. District Court against the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) for letting transgender athletes compete against females and use women’s locker rooms.

The plaintiffs include athletes from the sports of swimming, soccer, track and field, tennis and volleyball. According to the suit, “Each plaintiff is a current or former women’s athlete at a NCAA member college or university who has been harmed by, or is threatened harm by, the NCAA’s policies which violate Title IX and Equal Protection by permitting men to compete on women’s teams.”

The suit also names the University System of Georgia as a defendant. One of its schools, Georgia Tech, hosted the 2022 NCAA women’s swimming and diving championships. At those championships, a transgender swimmer named Lia Thomas—a biological male who had previously competed on men’s teams—was allowed to use the women’s locker room, depriving the female student-athletes of sex-separated women’s locker room facilities and bathroom and restroom facilities where their right to bodily privacy could be protected, exposing the women to shock, humiliation and embarrassment.”

Thomas had three top-eight finishes during the tournament, including a win in the 500-yard freestyle and a tie for fifth in the 200-yard freestyle with University of Kentucky All-American Riley Gaines. In each event, Thomas’ finishes pushed female athletes lower in the rankings than if all the competitors had been biological females.

The suit presents peer-reviewed research showing that even after biological males undergo hormone treatment to reduce testosterone levels, they retain significant athletic advantages over biological women.

“The NCAA’s Transgender Eligibility Policies are a house of cards, ill grounded and insubstantial in every way, and without scientific substance or merit,” the suit claims. “They exist only as a fig leaf for the NCAA’s ideology-driven decision to subordinate women’s opportunities in sport to the interests of men who declare themselves transgender.”

The suit asks the court to declare that the NCAA and the Georgia university system have violated Title IX, which was intended to increase women’s opportunities. “No policy which authorizes males to take the place of women on women’s college sports teams or in women’s college sports locker rooms is permissible under Title IX,” the suit says.

The female athletes are also asking the court to render invalid all awards and points given to biological males competing in women’s events, and asks for compensatory and punitive damages for women who have been affected by the transgender policies.

“The NCAA cannot be allowed to evade responsibility and accountability,” said Penny Nance, CEO and president of Concerned Women for America, the nation’s largest public policy women’s organization. The plaintiffs, Nance said, “are champions fighting for justice for all female athletes now facing a new insidious form of sex discrimination in their own sports.”

Above: Former University of Kentucky swimmer Riley Gaines during a January 2023 rally outside the NCAA convention in San Antonio.

Photo: Darren Abate/AP Photo

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