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NCAA supports transgender athletes, opposes having events in states with discriminatory laws

(Source: KOLD News 13)
(Source: KOLD News 13)
Updated: Apr. 12, 2021 at 6:13 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - NCAA officials issued a statement in support of transgender athletes and in strong opposition against having events in places that could have a discriminatory environment.

The NCAA Board of Governors says they “firmly and unequivocally” support the opportunity for transgender student-athletes to compete in college sports.

The organization has a long-standing policy that provides a more inclusive path for transgender participation in college sports.

The NCAA said its policy “requires testosterone suppression treatment for transgender women to compete in women’s sports” and “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.”

The statement comes as a number of states have passed bills forcing transgender athletes to play on teams associated with their gender assignment at birth rather than what they identify with.

The NCAA said when it comes to tournaments, its policy “directs that only locations where hosts can commit to providing an environment that is safe, healthy and free of discrimination should be selected.”

In late March, North Carolina Republican legislators began pushing for a new bill that would keep transgender girls from participating on girls’ sports teams. The “Save Women’s Sports Act” was presented at the North Carolina General Assembly on the week of March 21-27.\

South Carolinian lawmakers introduced a similar bill for consideration. Versions of the bill have recently been made into law in states such as Idaho and Mississippi, and have passed legislature in South Dakota and Arkansas.

Read the full release from the NCAA below.

“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 NCAA has a long-standing policy that provides a more inclusive path for 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. Our clear expectation as the Association’s top governing body is that all student-athletes will be treated with dignity and respect. We are committed to ensuring that NCAA championships are open for all who earn the right to compete in them. 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.”

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