The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has expressed firm support for transgender athletes as an increasing number of states move to block their participation in sports.
On Monday, the NCAA Board of Governors released a statement voicing its position that transgender student-athletes should be able to compete without restriction, noting that their commitment is rooted within its core principles of “inclusion and fair competition.”
The board reaffirmed its long-standing policy of non-discrimination toward all athletes, which allows transgender women to compete after sufficient testosterone suppression treatment.
“Our approach … 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,” the statement read.
Transgender Athletes in Sports
Movements opposing transgender participation in women’s sports have taken root around the country, prompting the board to deliberate on the issue at its recent meeting.
Arkansas, Mississippi, South Dakota, and Tennessee recently authorized targeted sports bans and Arkansas also passed a law prohibiting medical practitioners from administering gender-affirming treatments to underage trans patients.
NCAA was asked if it plans to withdraw championship games in locations with anti-transgender legislation in place. According to a spokesperson, the board hasn’t yet made a concrete decision but will be monitoring the situation.
“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 are committed to ensuring that NCAA championships are open for all who earn the right to compete in them,” it added.