Texas Prepares to Debate Transgender Bill as NCAA Threatens to Pull Tournaments

NCAA
Getty Images/Maxx Wolfson

Texas is one of more than two dozen states with proposed legislation to protect female athletes from transgender competition as the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) threatens to remove sporting events from states if these bills become law.

As Breitbart News reported, the NCAA Board of Governors issued a statement on Monday reiterating its support for transgender athletes and warning against passing any “discriminatory” laws against athletes who want to compete in sports according to their “gender identity.”

“When determining where championships are held, NCAA policy directs that only locations where hosts can commit to providing an environment that is safe, healthy, and free of discrimination should be selected,” a statement issued on Monday said. “We 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.”

The Houston Chronicle reported on the NCAA statement as it could relate to collegiate sports in Texas:

The stakes are high for Texas, as the NCAA has major financial commitments in the state. The men’s basketball Final Four is scheduled to be in Houston in 2023 and in San Antonio in 2025. Dallas hosts the women’s Final Four in 2023, and the College Football Championship is set for Houston in 2024.

In 2017, studies suggested Texas could lose nearly $250 million if the Final Four were taken away then. With three Final Fours and the football championship, Texas would be looking at more than $1 billion in potential economic impact.

Senate Bill 29, sponsored by Sen. Charles Perry, R-Lubbock, would ban a student from participating in a sport “opposite to the student’s biological sex as determined at the student’s birth.”

Perry said the bill is not about discrimination but safety and fairness in women’s sports.

“There has been a steady increase in the number of biologically born males competing in female sports,” Perry said.

The Chronicle reported that the state’s University Interscholastic League already has rules in place that prevent biological males from competing in girls’ sports.

The news outlet also interviewed critics of the bill, including the Human Rights Campaign.

“This is a moment of national crisis where the rights and the very existence of transgender young people are under attack,” Alphonso David, president of HRC, said. “Like the bathroom bills and the bills targeting marriage equality before them, these bills are nothing more than a coordinated effort by anti-LGBTQ extremists spreading fear and misinformation about transgender people in order to score cheap political points.”

But Beth Stelzer, founder of the Save Women’s Sports organization, disagrees.

“Women and girls deserve the rights that generations of women fought hard for them to obtain,” Stelzer said. “When we ignore biology and science in sports, women, and girls lose.”

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who oversees the state Senate, has made SB 29 one of his priorities and has spoken out about bullying from groups like the NCAA and corporations, including American Airlines criticism of the state’s voting integrity efforts.

“By the way, this is the same American Airlines that in 2017 led the fight to try to force us to allow boys to play girls’ sports in Texas and take away their scholarships,” Patrick said in a statement on April 1. “They are probably still fighting for that today, and it is likely they have not read Senate Bill 29 either.”

Follow Penny Starr on Twitter or send news tips to pstarr@breitbart.com’

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