The NCAA is going to bat for transgender athletes who want to compete at the college level — saying it will only hold NCAA championship events in areas that are “safe, healthy and free of discrimination.”
The NCAA Board of Governors issued a strong statement on the issue as more U.S. states reportedly move closer to passing laws that would make it much more difficult for a transgender athlete to compete at the high school and college levels using their gender identity instead of gender assigned at birth.
“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 statement said.
The NCAA then spelled out its policy about transgender participation in college sports.
“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.”
Then, in a move that seems similar to the MLB’s decision to yank the All-Star game out of Georgia … the NCAA warned it would pull NCAA championship events out of areas where it feels the environment is not safe for transgender athletes.
“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.”
In other words, the NCAA is sending a warning shot to states thinking about banning transgender athletes … if you pass those laws, say goodbye to meaningful NCAA games.