Hundreds of professional athletes, college athletes and advocacy groups teamed up to ask the NCAA to relocate future events from Idaho due to the state’s law limiting the athletic options of transgender individuals.
On March 30, Idaho governor Brad Little signed House Bill 500 into law, banning transgender girls and women from participating in girls’ and women’s sports. The Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, which is scheduled to take effect July 1, was quickly challenged in federal court by the American Civil Liberties Union and Legal Voice. The groups contended the law is discriminatory, violates the U.S. Constitution and violates Title IX.
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Wednesday’s letter, which was obtained by Sports Illustrated, from the advocacy groups to the NCAA asked for all events to be moved from the state “due to the state’s recent passage of dangerous anti-transgender legislation that prohibits certain groups of student athletes from participating in school sports.
“Given Idaho’s adoption of a discriminatory law that directly impacts college athletics, violates NCAA values, and undermines the dignity and well-being of NCAA athletes, Idaho schools no longer qualify to host NCAA events.”
The letter is signed by more than 400 athletes and 60 organizations, led by the American Civil Liberties Union, The Leadership Conference, the National Women’s Law Center and the National Center for Transgender Equality. The coalition says that Idaho’s law targets an already-marginalized community and “forces women and girls to be subject to invasive medical procedures simply because they are, or are suspected to be, transgender. Idaho is the only state in the country with such an extreme, harmful, and discriminatory blanket ban on the participation of transgender women and girls in sports.
“With this sweeping discriminatory law in place, they simply cannot reflect NCAA values and treat all athletes with the dignity and respect expected of NCAA membership schools.”
Boise is scheduled to be an opening-weekend site for the 2021 NCAA men’s basketball tournament, hosting games on March 18 and March 20.
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