Megan Rapinoe Urges NCAA To Allow Men To Compete In Women’s Sports

( – On April 15, a group of Republican lawmakers wrote a letter to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) President Charlie Baker. They urged him to make a policy banning transgender male athletes from participating in women’s NCAA sports. The ask followed a similar policy change made by the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).

On April 23, more than 400 current and former athletes, including former US women’s soccer star Megan Rapinoe and WNBA player Sue Bird, sent a letter to the NCAA Board of Governors, urging them to protect transgender athletes from discrimination. They said barring those athletes from “access[ing] the sport they love” flies in the face of the “very principles of the NCAA’s Constitution.

The athletes said they believe all children deserve to play in sports, as the participation can change lives — and even be “lifesaving.” They said the “rights of trans people” in the US were under attack, detailing anti-trans legislation in states all over the country. The group urged the NCAA to support the “wellbeing” of sports and athletes of all genders and “not ban transgender women from NCAA women’s sports.”

But that wasn’t the first letter of its kind from Rapinoe and others. The former soccer athlete was part of a group that penned a letter to the House of Representatives in opposition to Federal Bill HR 734. The measure would ban transgender and intersex girls and women from playing in sports.

The letter explained that athletics teaches valuable lessons, helps kids make friends, and gives children a “sense of self and identity.” They said passing the legislation would ensure that those individuals are stuck on the sidelines watching other kids play, leading to possible isolation. They believe “gender equality in sport[s] is critical.”

The NCAA reportedly told NBC News it would “continue to promote Title IX,” a federal civil rights law prohibiting discrimination based on sex. However, the organization didn’t address the letter directly — yet.

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