A NCAA advocacy group is pushing back against a spate of newly introduced anti-transgender legislation that seeks to limit participation of transgender students in school sports.
According to ABC News, 28 states across the country have introduced anti-transgender bills.
The NCAA’s Division III LGBTQ OneTeam Program and members of the NCAA’s Division III LGBTQ Working Group condemned the newly proposed laws in an open letter.
The letter calls on elected officials to put an end to legislation that seeks to exclude transgender youth and young adults from equal participation in sports.
“We have decided to use our collective voice to condemn such actions,” the letter reads. “We cannot, in good conscience, fail to speak out at this critical moment.”
The NCAA Division III LGBTQ OneTeam Program trains coaches, athletics administrators and student-athletes across all Division III athletics to promote LGBTQ inclusion in college athletics and create an inclusive and safe climate.
“Legislation aimed at categorically banning transgender people -- and particularly transgender girls and women -- from sport is inherently discriminatory,” the letter said. “Such legislation is often ‘informed’ by hate and misinformation rather than science, and it is most certainly ‘informed’ by fear instead of fact.”
The letter was signed by more than 50 other facilitators of the NCAA Division III LGBTQ OneTeam Program, including Timothy R. Bussey, associate director of the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Kenyon College.
“It's so important to speak out against this legislation, because it is fully rooted in transphobic lies and myths and misconceptions about transgender people,” Bussey, who uses they/them pronouns, told ABC News.
“These laws really play off of those myths and misconceptions about the trans community, and this proposed legislation really weaponizes that misconception and that lack of understanding of science in a way that seeks to exclude trans people and ultimately causes harm to trans folks on a number of levels," they said.
The letter noted that further anti-transgender legislation is dangerous.
“Discriminatory legislation that is aimed at excluding transgender people from sport has a number of serious consequences for transgender students,” the letter reads. “Such legislation dehumanizes transgender students, refuses them the opportunity to participate equally and equitably in athletics, undermines their support in educational settings, damages their mental health, and ultimately harms these students, while also contributing to an exclusionary athletic environment and a more hostile school climate for all students.”