Tomorrow, in San Antonio, Texas, the NCAA will hold its annual convention. But they’re going to have some visitors at the big event that the organization’s leaders likely won’t be happy to see. The group Concerned Women for America, among the country’s biggest women’s policy organizations, will be holding a rally to greet the leaders of the NCAA as they arrive, but they won’t be bringing flowers or asking for autographs. They will be handing in a petition with thousands of signatures from women around the country demanding that the NCAA stop allowing men who “identify” as women to compete in collegiate women’s sporting events. The group has a website set up (Our Bodies, Our Sports) where they continue to collect signatures and offer help with organizing trips to join the rally. Even if you can’t make it to the event, feel free to sign the petition at the second link if you feel so inclined.
On Thursday, January 12, Concerned Women for America (CWA), the nation’s largest public policy women’s organization, will join female athletes, coaches, parents, and policy leaders in a rally during the annual convention of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in San Antonio, Texas, to demand that the organization, the governing body for collegiate sports, stop discriminating against female athletes.
The NCAA allows males who identify as women to play women’s sports, so long as their levels of testosterone meet certain sport-specific requirements. The NCAA adopted this policy despite scientific studies that prove testosterone suppression cannot eliminate the male athletic advantage.
“I am one of the thousands of female athletes the NCAA has turned its back on in the name of ‘inclusion,’” said Macy Petty, an NCAA volleyball player and Young Women for America Ambassador. “The NCAA has forsaken our safety and opportunity to compete on an equal playing field to cater to the desire of a few.” During USA Volleyball junior qualifiers, Petty competed against a male athlete identifying as a female which affected her recruiting potential.
Penny Nance, the CEO and President of CWA is quoted as saying, “Macy [Petty] and many other young female athletes have lost their trophies, their scholarships, and their opportunities to advance in their sports because of the NCAA’s pathetic policies.”
CWA has a coalition of other women’s rights groups joining them in this effort. This collection includes gay and lesbian organizations, demonstrating that even if you’re a lesbian and you support the rights of transgender people, that doesn’t mean that you are automatically okay with allowing men to compete against actual women.
One person who will likely not be participating is Lia Thomas. He became something of the poster child of this movement last year when he broke a number of records in collegiate women’s swimming events, despite having been a rather mediocre competitor when previously competing against the rest of the men.
The rally is bringing along some science to submit along with the signatures. The organizers are pointing to multiple studies showing that simply lowering a male athlete’s testosterone levels (as the NCAA specifies) doesn’t come anywhere near eliminating the inherent physical advantages that males have in competitive sports. They will feature several women who lost their chances at scholarships and placements at universities after males knocked them out of the running in their chosen field of sports.
Thus far the NCAA has refused all of the calls to reverse its policies on transgender competitors in sporting events. Perhaps if this rally is large and loud enough, the association will begin to change its mind. Here’s wishing them the best of luck. Here are the details:
What: Stop Discriminating Against Female Athletes Rally
When: January 12, 9:00 a.m. CST
Where: Outside of the NCAA Convention in San Antonio, Texas
Henry B. González Convention Center
Corner of E Market Street and Tower of the Americas Way