Athletes: Bans on transgender players must stop

National

A group of athletes, coaches and advocates are calling on the NCAA to take a more strident stand against states that adopt laws banning transgender athletes from competing in organized sports.

The NCAA, which has had a transgender inclusion policy since 2011, requires states that host championships provide an environment that is “safe, healthy and free of discrimination.”

Among those calling on Friday for the NCAA to publicly denounce anti-transgender laws was Minnesota Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve.

“Trans-inclusion makes our sports, our teams and our communities stronger,” she said during a virtual press conference organized by the advocacy group, Human Rights Campaign.

Conservative lawmakers in at least 28 states have introduced legislation to ban or limit transgender athletes from competing on teams or sports that align with their gender identity. Laws banning transgender women and girls from participating in organized sports have been signed in Idaho, Mississippi, Tennessee and Arkansas.

Proponents of the legislation say the rules are needed to prevent biological males from dominating women’s sports. However, NCAA rules require transgender women to take hormone-suppressing drugs for a year before competing.

President Joe Biden signed an executive order on the day he took office on Jan. 20 that bans discrimination based on gender identity in school sports and elsewhere.

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