LGBT Group Creates ‘Equality Index’ to Measure the Inclusiveness of Power Five NCAA Conferences

AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Step aside AP Poll, get out of the way Coaches Poll. All of you traditional, lame, college ranking systems need no longer apply. Why? Because now we have the ultimate, most woke college ranking system one could ever devise: the Athletic Equality Index.

An LGBT group called Athlete Ally, an organization that dedicates itself to “fostering inclusive athletic communities,” ranked all 65 schools in the NCAA’s five power conferences. Though, they didn’t look at strength of schedule, or records against common opponents. No, this ranking focused on how the various schools in those conferences compared when measured against each other for inclusiveness.

According to Athlete Ally, the primary purpose of the ranking is to measure transparency and accountability.

According to USA Today,  “A weighted scale was used, with several categories focusing on nondiscriminatory policies or level of resources for student-athletes. A school that was deemed to have an anti-LGBT policy was deducted points, while a school that made a pro-LGBT campaign received bonus points. The results, by conference, showed the Pac-12 outpacing other power conferences with a score of 79.7. The ACC (72.0) was second, with Big Ten (65.7), Big 12 (56.8) and SEC (56.4) rounding out the five leagues.

“Athlete Ally founder and executive director Hudson Taylor told USA TODAY Sports the NCAA was aware of the index but not directly involved in the process of examining schools’ policies. He said now institutions can “no longer cite a lack of data and reporting as a rationale for inaction.”

Or, in other words, if an institution believes it’s a good place that doesn’t discriminate against it’s LGBT students. Athlete Ally can step in and snap them out of their complacency by giving them a failing grade, based on a mysterious and subjective grading system.

Here, you can see the chart that Athlete Ally uses to determine a school’s score. Though, these are the highlights:

► School-wide nondiscrimination policies

► Openly LGBT staff members or vocal allies

► LGBT specific resources to which student-athletes can access

► Student-athlete led groups or recurring initiatives that discuss LGBTQ inclusion, diversity and equality

► A culture in which the athletic department collaborates with other campus identity centers

► Pro- LGBTQ inclusion campaigns or statements on behalf of the program

► A fan code of conduct that explicitly prohibits homophobic, transphobic, biphobic or sexist language and behavior

► A commitment to following the NCAA’s recommended guidelines for the inclusion of
transgender athletes on varsity teams

While the chart, and this list, looks descriptive and specific, many unknowns remain. For instance, how do you determine what “nondiscriminatory policies” are? Or, how to measure what constitutes an “adequate” level of resources? For example, if a school has the Ten Commandments posted on campus, does that count as discriminatory? Of course, the likelihood is that there aren’t any schools with the Ten Commandments prominently displayed anymore, but if there were, would that constitute discrimination?

What if, a school dared to have separate men’s and women’s restrooms, would that be viewed as an inadequate resource for the gender mobile? What if, and this is at the extreme end of unlikelihood, but what if there were a well-known conservative professor on campus? Would his mere presence hurt the overall inclusiveness of the school?

What if you don’t have an LGBT staff member or vocal ally, but no LGBT student is harmed in any way? Does that still count as a negative, even though no one has actually been harmed? Why isn’t it enough that an athletic department not discriminate? Why must they also pay for and promote “inclusion” programs?

The measure of any level of equality, should always begin and end with opportunity. If LGBT students aren’t in any way banned from participating in anything that non-LGBT students can participate in, then that institution, by definition, is inclusive. Inclusiveness really is that simple. Anything beyond that crosses the line into favoritism and agenda-driven politics. What Athlete Ally is seeking to do is publicly shame schools with the intent of using media pressure to gain control of the inner-workings of the administration.

A move that will ultimately make universities, even more non-inclusive to Christian students who want to practice their beliefs. Why would anyone want to be included in that?