NCAA Supports Transgender Student Athletes; May Move Championships
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The NCAA Board of Governors today released a statement supporting the opportunity for transgender student-athletes to compete in college sports.
“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 statement comes after Idaho, South Dakota, Mississippi, Arkansas and Tennessee have passed laws banning transgender students from participating in school sports and at least 25 states are considering anti-transgender legislation.
The statement also raised the prospects that NCAA could relocate championship events from states passing such laws.
“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,” the statement said.
The National Center for Transgender Equality opposes proposed legislation that would deny transgender students the opportunity to participate in sports as well as legislation that would deny transgender students affirming and appropriate health care.
“Every child deserves the love and support of the family and community. Dangerous proposals around the country are putting transgender young people at risk. The harm is real and is felt very personally by transgender kids just trying to live their lives as who they really are,” said Rodrigo Heng-Lehtinen, deputy executive director for the National Center for Transgender Equality. “The NCAA is making it clear that their Board of Governors supports transgender athletes, and the board should hold those states passing these harmful laws accountable.”
The NCAA Board of Governors met last week.