NCAA stirs up controversy by moving forward with events in states with anti-trans legislation

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma - The NCAA has raised a few eyebrows by naming sites in US states that have recently passed anti-transgender legislation.

The NCAA has chosen to hold events in anti-transgender states that could cause controversy going forward
The NCAA has chosen to hold events in anti-transgender states that could cause controversy going forward  © IMAGO / Icon SMI

Alabama, Arkansas, and Tennessee have been selected by the NCAA as regional sites for their upcoming softball world series tournament games.

This comes only a month after the organization "firmly and unequivocally" expressed its support for the rights of transgender athletes, in a move that seemed at the time to be an act of defiance against US states that have already legislated to ban transgender athletes in school sports.

The NCAA originally threatened to go even further and pull events from states with bans on transgender participation in school sports, but it now seems to have quietly rolled back on that commitment. Alabama, Arkansas, and Tennessee are among the handful of states that do have these discriminatory laws already on the books.

Naomi Osaka gives adorable baby update as she takes on French Open
Athletes Naomi Osaka gives adorable baby update as she takes on French Open

These three states will only hold regional games that will lead into the Women's College World Series, which is to take place in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, where it has been held since 1990.

Activists in Austin protest Texas' new anti-trans legislation.
Activists in Austin protest Texas' new anti-trans legislation.  © IMAGO / ZUMA Wire

The state of Oklahoma's Republican-led House of Representatives recently passed a bill that would ban transgender athletes from women's sports.

Gov. Kevin Stitt is thought to be sticking with party lines and supports restricting competition between athletes who have the same sex at birth. It doesn't help either that the polarizing figure that is former President Donald Trump also supports laws against transgender athletes.

Those who are against the bans believe that they're discriminatory and prevent the acceptance of transgender people. Despite the premise that state laws could interfere with future sporting events that accommodate trans athletes, the NCAA events will continue as planned.

Going back to their initial statement made in April, the NCAA also states that they "will continue to closely monitor these situations to determine whether NCAA championships can be conducted in ways that are welcoming and respectful of all participants."

Cover photo: IMAGO / ZUMA Wire

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