(ETH) – The National Collegiate Athletic Association, which is the country’s largest organization regulating college athletics, has just announced that it is putting its full weight of support and “firmly and unequivocally supports” the inclusion of transgender athletes in college sports competitions.
This means that men who identify as women will be able to participate in women’s sports and it will be fully supported by the NCAA. The announcement came on the heels of Republican-controlled legislatures across multiple states around the US that are considering legislation banning transgender individuals who are biologically male from competing in women’s sports.
Those pushing the legislation stress that allowing such individuals to participate is “unfair” to female athletes. With this, The NCAA has now insisted that they are fully dedicated to including transgender athletes in women’s sports for the purpose of producing “fair competition.”
“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.
This comes after a policy implemented in 2010, which “requires testosterone suppression treatment for transgender women to compete in women’s sports,” as a means to provide a “more inclusive path for transgender participation in college sports.” “Inclusion and fairness can coexist for all student-athletes, including transgender athletes, at all levels of sport,” the board argued. “Our clear expectation as the Association’s top governing body is that all student-athletes will be treated with dignity and respect.”
However, the NCAA didn’t stop there, they have also vowed to even pull championship events out of states that disagree with the new policies of the NCAA regarding transgender athletes’ participation, a move that was immediately celebrated by transgender advocates.
“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,” the statement said. “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.”