Why Are College Athletes Asking The NCAA To Pull Championships?

The question of whether or not trans athletes should be allowed to play on male or female sports teams that are in opposition of their biological sex has been ongoing for a while now. Advocates for inclusion argue that we live in a diverse society and that barring trans athletes from certain sports teams would do little more than inflame athletes for no reason. The opposition contends that including trans athletes would be too unfair. 

Many state legislatures have been working to pass laws that bar trans women from playing on women’s sports teams and trans men from playing on men’s sports. Two such bills are on the move in Mississippi and South Dakota, while another has already passed muster in Idaho.

Now, hundreds of college athletes have come forward, signing a letter drafted to the NCAA to request pulling championships from those states with anti-inclusivity laws on the books.

The letter begins, “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 letters continues by addressing NCAA President Mark Emmert and the NCAA’s Board of Governors directly: “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 complaint found support from GLAAD and Athlete Ally, and was signed by athletes attending a diverse set of around 85 schools including Ivy League institutions.

The state laws barring trans players allow a sports team to force a player to undergo a genital exam, genetics test, or hormone test to determine biological sex if called into question. 

The letter continued, “It is imperative that we know we are safe and supported in the NCAA no matter where we travel to compete. The NCAA claims to prioritize the safety, excellence, and physical and emotional well being of its student athletes and asserts that all athletes deserve a fair shot.”

So far, they do not.