Boise, Idaho is one of eight cities currently scheduled to host games in the first round of the NCAA 2021 “March Madness” men’s basketball tournament. But because Idaho passed the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, the ACLU and a coalition of activist groups have asked the NCAA to boycott the state.
The ACLU, which filed a lawsuit challenging the Fairness Act, recently sent a letter to the NCAA Bid Selection Committee, saying: “We are writing to request you relocate all NCAA events, including the 2021 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship games, from Idaho due to the state’s recent passage of dangerous anti-transgender legislation that prohibits certain groups of student athletes from participating in school sports.”
Contrary to the letter, the Fairness Act, HB 500, doesn’t prohibit students from playing sports in Idaho. It simply keeps sports segregated based on biological sex – so that boys participate with boys and girls with girls.
The ACLU’s letter was signed by an additional 60 activist groups, including the National Center for Transgender Equality, the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative, the Center for American Progress, the SPLC Action Fund and numerous LGBT state groups.
In an extremely puzzling move, women’s groups such as the National Women’s Law Center, the American Association of University Women and the Women’s Sports Foundation also signed the letter. Organizations that once understood there are two distinct sexes, and once advocated for women, now believe that men can become women. Evidently, they now think it’s okay when girls and women lose opportunities to biological males who believe they are female.
In a related move, a group of almost 50 individual athletes signed a similar letter, asking the NCAA “to stand with their commitment to inclusivity, and move all events out of Idaho.” Former tennis player Billie Jean King and professional soccer player Megan Rapinoe were among the athletes who signed the letter, most of whom identify as homosexual or transgender.
In response to the pressure from activist groups, the NCAA said it would discuss Idaho’s Fairness Act at its next board meeting in August. The organization issued a statement which said, “Idaho’s House Bill 500 and resulting law is harmful to transgender student-athletes and conflicts with the NCAA’s core values of inclusivity, respect and the equitable treatment of all individuals.”
The pressure from activist groups makes the #SaveGirlsSports campaign more important than ever. As we reported earlier, the campaign was launched by the Family Policy Alliance (FPA) as an effort to support legislation like Idaho’s Fairness act and protect girls’ and women’s sports.
FPA is encouraging current and former female athletes to share photos on social media and explain why playing sports is important. FPA has a Facebook photo frame, along with instructions for adding the frame to profile pictures. Parents and other supporters can also use the photo filter to help raise awareness of the threat to female athletics.
#SaveGirlsSports is scheduled to launch June 21-27, celebrating the anniversary of Title IX taking effect on June 23, 1972. Title IX is the federal civil rights law banning discrimination in education based on sex; the law gave girls and women more opportunities and transformed girls and women’s sports.
In response to the pressure from the ACLU and activist groups, FPA is also inviting individuals to send a message to the NCAA, asking the organization to reject the ACLU’s request and stand up for women’s sports.
Photo from Al Sermeno Photography / Shutterstock.com