Former Oberlin girls lacrosse coach says administrators need to stand up for women's sports

"The issue is we're making 13-year-old girls do the work that the adults are not doing," Russell said.

Published: June 21, 2024 6:39pm

Former Oberlin College women's lacrosse coach Kim Russell said Friday that more administrators need to speak out on behalf of girls in women's sports who have to compete against biological men. 

"If you watched the young, middle school girls in West Virginia who stood up and all stepped up to the shot put, walked up and walked away and did not participate, that to me showed true courage," Russell said on the "Just the News, No Noise" TV show. 

Earlier this year, five West Virginia middle school athletes refused to participate in a track event that was won by 13-year-old Becky Pepper Jackson, who has been taking puberty-blocking medication and has publicly identified as a girl since elementary school.

The athletes were banned from participating in upcoming meets. 

"The issue is we're making 13-year-old girls do the work that the adults are not doing," Russell said. "And that is not fair. There is already so many pressure on these kids."

While still coaching at Oberlin, Russell was subjected to disciplinary hearings after supporting the female athlete who came in second place to transgender athlete Lia Thomas during the 2022 NCAA swimming championships.

She said that more authority figures need to speak up on behalf of female athletes. 

"The ones who should be carrying the torch are the administrators, the parents and the coaches," Russell said. "And because of where we are today, everyone is afraid to speak up."

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