500+ College Student-Athletes to NCAA: Support Transgender Athletes

March 12, 2021 / Athletic AdministrationCoaching
More than 500 collegiate student-athletes unified to send a joint letter to the NCAA on Wednesday demanding immediate action against states with bans on transgender student-athletes.

A total of 545 student-athletes from at least 85 schools in every region of the country are urging the institution to speak out for transgender athletes and to standby its nondiscrimination policy, according to a report from the New York Daily News.

The letter was spearheaded by two runners from Washington University (St. Louis, MO) — Aliya Schenck and Alana Bojor — and personally requests that NCAA president Mark Emmerts and the board of governors “publically refuse to host championships in states with bans against trans student-athletes.”

“We, the undersigned NCAA student-athletes, are extremely frustrated and disappointed by the lack of action taken by the NCAA to recognize the dangers of hosting events in states that create a hostile environment for student-athletes,” the athletes wrote.

“You have been silent in the face of hateful legislation in states that are slated to host championships, even though those states are close to passing anti-transgender legislation,” they added.

The letter, according to the NYDN, was written in collaboration with the LGBTQ advocacy organizations GLAAD and Athlete Ally, and makes reference to Idaho’s House Bill 500, which bans transgender student-athletes from women’s sports, and was signed into law last year, but is currently facing appeals.

“Even with the current injunction, [HB 500] still is an incredibly harmful bill that sets a dangerous precedent of subjecting all women athletes to potential invasive gender verification tests while also effectively banning transgender women athletes from competition,” the letter said.

“The harm these bills will cause will be felt by generations of athletes to come. Trans youth will not be able to play and excel at the sports they love, causing a ripple effect that will eventually remove an integral element of the diversity of college sport. Failure to speak up now will harm current and future athletes – perhaps irreparably,” they wrote.

To read the full story from the New York Daily News, click here