NCAA Caves, Will Allow States Who Place Restrictions on Trans Athletes to Host Events

Getty Images/Maxx Wolfson

The NCAA made loud proclamations in April that it could pull events from states with limits on transgender athletes. Still, now the college sports governing body has caved and will allow tournaments in states including Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas despite their laws restricting trans athletes.

The NCAA sided with transgender athletes only last month, saying they may cancel events in states that aren’t “free of discrimination” against transgender athletes.

The NCAA Board of Governors made its announcement as more than two dozen states proposed, debated, and advanced legislation aimed at requiring state schools to ensure that athletes compete only in the category of their birth gender.

But now, only a month later, the NCAA announces that despite its saber-rattling in April, it will allow events in states that have already passed laws limiting transgender athletes to birth gender categories, Yahoo! Sports reported.

Over the weekend, the NCAA named Alabama, Arkansas, and Tennessee host schools for softball regionals. It has also been confirmed that Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, will host the Women’s College World Series once again. Though, all these states now have laws that put limits on transgender athletes, banning players born as males from playing in girls’ sports regardless of their claimed transition status.

The Women’s World Series generates $20 million for Oklahoma City, but the NCAA warned that it would take the games from the area over the state’s new law. That punishment, though, appears to have been scrapped.

Each of these sites was also tasked with meeting strict coronavirus rules. This may also have had a hand in forcing the NCAA to jettison its threats of support for trans athletes.

The NCAA did follow through with similar threats back in 2017 when North Carolina passed a bill barring men claiming to be transgender women from using public restrooms designated for women. The state eventually repealed the law.

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