Fair Play

In March 2020, Idaho passed a law preventing transgender women from competing in women’s sports. However, the bill was suspended later, in August. Earlier this month,  Tennessee and Mississippi followed suit in preventing trans women from participating on teams different from their biological sex. Currently,  there are approximately 40 different bills in 25 states regarding youth, intermediate and college athletes. Proponents of the bills contend that transgender women would have an unfair advantage in women sports due to male hormones, strength, and differing progressions of puberty would provide an unfair advantage to trans women over other women in the sport. Those that oppose the bill cite discrimination under Title IX.

Approximately five-hundred (500) NCAA student-athletes have joined the debate, by signing a petition to the NCAA, urging the institution to cease holding sporting events events in those states that have banned transgender athletes from participating in sports teams based on gender identification versus biological identification. In 2016, the NCAA relocated championship events from North Carolina after the state had passed legislation regarding transgender students using certain restrooms because the legislation contradicted the NCAA’s discrimination policies. Indicating, they may respond similarly here. Additionally, the NCAA has incorporated transgender concerns in their policies since 2011 by allowing trans men to participate on men’s teams and trans women to participate in women’s teams if they have been taking testosterone suppression medication for one year.

Although such a policy is progressive, it would seem that there is more heavy lifting to be done due to the economic constraints most people face concerning a transgender transformation and the limitations on inclusivity, as it currently assumes that transgender individuals wishing to participate in sports would want to take such hormonal or gender affirming treatments.





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