SI reports that 550 athletes have written the NCAA asking it not to hold championships and other events in states that have passed or are considering legislation to ban transgender women from participating in women’s athletics.
The Arkansas Senate has passed such a bill by Sen.Missy Irvin to address a non-existent problem in Arkansas. Given the anti-transgender fervor or the Republican majority passage in the House seems likely. Governor Hutchinson has expressed no concern about how it makes Arkansas look, on top of the legislature’s resistance to his hate crimes bill because it affords some protection for LGBTQ people.
“We, the undersigned NCAA student-athletes, are extremely frustrated and disappointed by the lack of action taken by the NCAA to recognize the dangers of hosting events in states that create a hostile environment for student-athletes,” the letter opened. Addressing NCAA President Mark Emmert and the NCAA Board of Governors, it continued, “You have been silent in the face of hateful legislation in states that are slated to host championships, even though those states are close to passing anti-transgender legislation.”
Three states have completed action on such legislation, with the law in Idaho already struck down by a federal court. In all, 25 states are heading in this direction. Texas has even prevented transgender boys from competing in boys’ athletics, putting testosterone-taking athletes in girls’ competitions.
The letter notes the NCAA pulled out of North Carolina events after that state passed a “bathroom bill” to prevent transgender women from using women’s restrooms.
Here’s the full letter. No Arkansas athlete signed it. Athlete Ally is backing the effort, an interesting story in its own right.