As female athletes around the country fight to keep biological men from competing with them, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has announced its unequivocal support for transgender student-athletes.
In a statement released on Monday, the NCAA said it “unequivocally” supports the transgender community and expressed no misgivings about the real prospect of biological men outcompeting women in their given sport.
“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 said.
The NCAA then touted the (highly questionable) concept of testosterone suppression as a valid equalizer for men competing in women’s sports.
“The NCAA has a long-standing policy that provides a more inclusive path for transgender participation in college sports,” the NCAA said. “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,” it concluded. “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.”
According to a recent study from the British Journal of Sports Medicine, biological men underwent a year of hormone treatment and still enjoyed a solid advantage over their female peers. Though the researchers did say that two years of hormone treatment did show some positive signs for transgender athletes, they ultimately admitted that there is no possible way to completely eliminate biological advantage, given how the body develops during puberty.
Most recently, Republican South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem said she would not sign a bill in her state protecting women’s sports from transgender athletes on the college level, citing possible reprisals from the NCAA.
“Unfortunately, as I have studied this legislation and conferred with legal experts over the past several days, I have become concerned that this bill’s vague and overly broad language could have significant unintended consequences,” Noem said in a letter to state lawmakers after vetoing the bill. “I am also concerned that the approach House Bill 1217 takes is unrealistic in the context of collegiate athletics.”