National Women’s Law Center on NCAA’s Continued Review of Policy on Transgender Women Athletes: Make the Right Choice

Washington, DC – Earlier this week, NWLC joined over 50 organizations in urging the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) to protect the rights of transgender women seeking to participate in sports as their authentic selves. On April 25, the NCAA Board of Governors decided to maintain its current policy while continuing to review the issue. 

In response, Fatima Goss Graves, president and CEO of the National Women’s Law Center, issued the following statement:

“As the NCAA Board of Governors continues to consider whether transgender women should be allowed to participate in women’s college sports teams, we encourage it to prioritize equity and consider the widespread support for inclusion from leading gender justice organizations like ours, which are unequivocal in asserting: trans women are women. 

As leaders in the fight for women’s rights, we know anti-trans sports policies perpetuate harmful stereotypes about gender and athleticism and require the policing and scrutiny of women’s bodies. These policies hurt all women. We urge the NCAA to stay on the right side of history and the law. It should not succumb to extremists’ pressure and blatant disinformation.

The law is clear: discrimination against transgender, nonbinary, and intersex students is prohibited. All women and girls, including women and girls who are transgender and intersex, must have the right to play sports alongside their peers, as themselves, and enjoy the same benefits of sport participation all other students enjoy. If the NCAA truly wants to protect women in sports, it should prioritize increasing funding for women’s sports, preventing sexual assault and abuse, and creating more opportunities to play, particularly for women of color.

We urge the NCAA to make the right choice and lead us toward a future where everyone can freely participate in the sports they love without facing bullying or discrimination simply for existing.”