MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The NCAA backed transgender athletes by saying it won’t hold championship events in locations that aren’t “free of discrimination”.
Recently, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Arkansas all passed laws that would ban transgender female athletes from competing in women’s sports.
The NCAA says its policy is more inclusive. The NCAA requires testosterone suppression treatment for transgender women to compete in women’s sports.
While the NCAA did not mention Mid-South states by name, it did say it would only consider championship events in locations where hosts “can commit to providing an environment that is safe, healthy and free of discrimination.”
Mississippi U.S. Senator Roger Wicker tweeted about the decision saying: " Unbelievable. @NCAA wants to take away opportunities from Mississippi athletes because our state believes in biology. At this rate, they will have to cancel every other state that decides to protect women’s sports.”
Reporter Bart Pohlman for Sport and Story released a statement from Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson on twitter. Hutchinson said he is disappointed by the announcement. He also says he expects the NCAA to relax its position as multiple states have adopted similar laws.
When signing these bills, both Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves and Tennessee Governor Bill Lee said the laws would ensure school sports are fair.
“This important piece of legislation will ensure that young girls in Mississippi have a fair level playing field in public school sports,” Reeves said. “It’s crazy we have to address it, but the Biden (executive order) forced the issue. Adults? That’s on them. But the push for kids to adopt transgenderism is just wrong.”
“I signed the bill to preserve women’s athletics and ensure fair competition. This legislation responds to damaging federal policies that stand in opposition to the years of progress made under Title IX and I commend members of the General Assembly for their bipartisan work,” Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee said in a statement.