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Rep. Tenney urges NCAA to join NAIA in blocking biological men from playing in women’s sports

Tenney criticized the NCAA’s existing policy as unfair for biological women who are at a disadvantage because they are naturally weaker, slower, and have less stamina than biological men.

Published: April 17, 2024 6:06pm

​New York Republican lawmaker Claudia Tenney called for the National Collegiate Athletic Association on Wednesday to join the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics’ ban on biological men participating in women’s sports. 

The NAIA unanimously approved a ban on people who were born male but identify as female from participating in women’s sports earlier this month, though the rule allows biological women to compete in men’s sports. 

Tenney criticized the NCAA’s existing policy as unfair for biological women who are at a natural disadvantage in physical competitions with biological men.

"We must protect the opportunity for women and girls to compete and succeed in athletics fairly," Tenney said in a statement. "While I applaud the NAIA's recent decision to ban biological men from women's sports, I am deeply disturbed that the NCAA is ignoring the facts and failing to do the same. Women fought hard to earn the critical protections of Title IX, and we must continue to protect these opportunities for generations to come. I am dedicated to defending the future of women's sports and providing a level playing field for all female athletes."

One example she cited of a transgender woman beating a biological woman in women’s sports is when transgender athlete Lia Thomas, who was born male, beat collegiate swimmer Emma Weyent in the 500-yard freestyle during the 2022 championships. 

College athlete Chelsea Mitchell has also claimed she was one of the fastest biological female runners in Connecticut, but could not beat transgender athletes, according to an op-ed in Newsweek last year.

The letter to NCAA President Charlie Baker was co-signed by 16 lawmakers, including Texas GOP Reps. Randy Weber and Dan Crenshaw, Indiana Republican lawmaker Jim Banks, and Florida GOP Rep. Greg Stuebe.

The NCAA did not respond to Tenney’s letter specifically, but said it will continue to keep women’s sports fair for all student athletes.

“College sports are the premier stage for women’s sports in America and the NCAA will continue to promote Title IX, make unprecedented investments in women’s sports and ensure fair competition for all student-athletes in all NCAA championships,” the NCAA said in a statement to Just the News.

Tenney’s efforts to get the ban comes as nearly half of U.S. states have moved to block transgender participation in sports.

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