The NCAA’s Board of Governors released a statement on April 12 threatening to pull championship games out of states with laws or policies prohibiting biological males who identify as transgender from competing in women’s sports.
“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,” the statement reads. “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.”
According to the American Civil Liberties Union, more than 30 states are considering bills that prohibit biological males from competing in women’s sporting events.
The NCAA said its position is grounded in its “values of inclusion and fair competition,” yet John Stonestreet of the Colson Center for Christian Worldview points out that by allowing biological males to compete against female athletes, women are put at a distinct disadvantage.
“Given that biological sex is so relevant to strength, skill and performance in physical sports, the fact that all legislation so far is aimed at protecting female sports from males taking opportunities and scholarships, not to mention the risk of injury, only proves the point,” he said. “Male athletes don’t need to be protected from biological females. Biological females who identify as male don’t need to be kept from female sports. This only goes one way.”
Tony Perkins, president of Family Research Council, called out the irony of the NCAA’s approach.
“When everything is said and done, how many states will the NCAA discriminate against while pretending to stand against discrimination?” he asked.
Autumn Leva, vice president for strategy at the Family Policy Alliance, encouraged states to stand firm:
“The NCAA made it clear that it is willing to prioritize its own power over the opportunities available to its female players,” she said. “In the face of political pressure, the NCAA Board of Governors has shown, yet again, that what matters most to them is their own bottom line.
“States should ignore this intimidation tactic as yet another NCAA power grab. Instead, elected officials should proudly stand behind female athletes who represent their states in high level competition. And, states should proudly boast about their venues where female athletes can enjoy true and fair competition.”