On Wednesday, the NCAA announced a new approach to transgender athletes, moving to a “sport-by-sport” policy. The policy mirrors that of the International Olympic Committee’s, which changed its rules on transgender athletes in November.
“Like the Olympics, the updated NCAA policy calls for transgender participation for each sport to be determined by the policy for the national governing body of that sport, subject to ongoing review and recommendation by the NCAA Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports to the Board of Governors,” the NCAA said. “If there is no NGB policy for a sport, that sport’s international federation policy would be followed. If there is no international federation policy, previously established IOC policy criteria would be followed.”
The policy change comes as transgender UPenn swimmer Lia Thomas — who swam for the men’s team for three years before joining the women’s team in 2021 — has dominated the female competition in the pool.
In November, Thomas smashed the record in the 200 free, and had the second-fastest 500 free time, with both times breaking UPenn program records.
The domination in the pool caused some of Thomas’ teammates to speak out against Thomas’ participation on the women’s swimming team, with one teammate saying that “everyone just knows it’s the wrong thing to do” when it comes to allowing Thomas to compete against women.
Olympic gold medalist Caitlyn Jenner — who came out publicly as transgender in 2015 — has been an outspoken critic of transgender women competing in women’s sports, and has called on the NCAA to change its rules when it comes to transgender athletes.
“Biological boys, I’ve said from the beginning, should not be playing in women’s sports,” Jenner said in a Fox News appearance on Wednesday. “We need to protect women’s sports. Obviously, this is about Lia Thomas, who has brought a lot of attention to this issue.”
“First of all, I respect her decision to live her life authentically — 100 percent — but it also comes with responsibility and some integrity.”
Jenner explained the unfair advantage that Thomas has when swimming against women in the pool.
“I don’t know why she’s doing it,” Jenner continued. “She knows when she’s swimming, she’s beating the competition by two laps. She was born a biological boy. She was raised as a biological boy. Her cardiovascular system is bigger, her respiratory system is bigger, her hands are bigger, she can swim faster. That’s a known.”
Jenner called on the NCAA to make changes to their rules regarding transgender participation in sports, while also decrying “woke culture,” which may deter people from speaking out against Thomas.
“All of this woke world that we’re living in right now is not working,” Jenner said. “I feel sorry for the other athletes that are out there, especially at Penn or anybody she’s competing against, because in the woke world you have to say, ‘Oh, my gosh, this is great’ and on and on and on. No, it’s not. We need to protect women’s sports, and the NCAA needs to make the right decision tomorrow, and I think that is probably to stop this right now. Rethink it.”
WOKENESS is killing women's sports!
Watch below: pic.twitter.com/m1BhT6zbKv
— Caitlyn Jenner (@Caitlyn_Jenner) January 20, 2022
The NCAA’s change in policy will still allow transgender athletes to compete, but will now put that decision in the hands of the individual sports.
Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers, and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to [email protected].