“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.”
Over 500 students across 85 schools are taking a stand against the numerous anti-trans bills in an inspiring letter to the NCAA.
Washington University students Aliya Schenck and Alana Bojar have spearheaded the LGBTQ+ sporting movement.
“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 stated.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association or the NCAA is a nonprofit organization thAT “regulates” student-athletes.
“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,” the letter continued.
In an interview with the New York Times, Schenck discussed the importance of the letter and the damaging effects of the numerous anti-trans bills.
“Queer athletes and trans athletes already have to deal with so much,” she explained.
“And then to be put in a situation where they’re tying to enjoy maybe the one thing that they can really just express themselves through – their sport – and just go to practice and forget about everything else they’re dealing with, and suddenly that is also taken away from them.”
The NCAA also released a statement to the Associated Press stating that they are monitoring the situation.
“The NCAA believe in fair and respectful student-athlete participation at all levels of the sport. The Associations transgender student-athlete participation policy and other diversity policies are designed to facilitate and support inclusion,” it reads.
“The NCAA believes diversity and inclusion improve the learning environment and it encourages it’s member colleges and universities to support the well being of all student-athletes.”
At least 37 bills targeting trans rights are being considered in an effort to stop transgender athletes from participating in sporting teams that align with how they self-identify, according to Insider.
Mississippi recently became the first state to pass a law that would ban transgender girls and women from school sports.
Bill 2536, which exists under the title “provide that schools designate teams by biological sex”, aims to make it state binding that educational institutions must segregate sports teams based on biological sex.
The pending legislation argues education institutions that are members of sporting associations such as NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association), NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) or NJCCA (National Junior College Athletic Association) must allocate team members strictly based on biological sex.
The bill outlines three specific categories such as “males”, “females”, and “coed” which discriminates against transgender athletes.
South Dakota has also recently passed their own anti-trans bill this past week.
The H.B. 1217 bill states participants of a sports team can only join “based on their biological sex”.
Alongside these specifications, a hopeful participant must have a written statement proving their age and biological sex “in accordance with the student’s genetics and reproductive biology”.