Athlete Ally Responds to TX and AL Anti-Trans Athlete Bans

June 15, 2023 — Athlete Ally responded today to news that today, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed Senate Bill 15 into law, which bans trans athletes from participating in collegiate sports according to their gender identity. This follows Texas’ 2021 passage of a bill banning transgender athletes from participating in K-12 sports. Just a few weeks back, Alabama officially expanded their ban of trans kids in sports at the K-12 level to include participation on college teams. 

“The transgender community in the South has been facing constant, ruthless attacks on their humanity, including recent bans on gender-affirming healthcare for children, and now these fear-based bans on trans athletes,” said Joanna Hoffman, Director of Communications at Athlete Ally based in Houston, Texas. “Our hearts break for  trans, nonbinary & intersex Alabamians and Texans who are experiencing an attack on their ability to live safe & public lives.”

“As a Black woman and athlete, I have faced many challenges to equality in sport,” WNBA player, native Texan and Athlete Ally Ambassador Brianna Turner wrote in the Houston Chronicle. “But the participation of transgender women and girls in women’s sports is not one of those challenges. I cannot understand why lawmakers in my home state of Texas have been targeting trans athletes in grade school, and now at the college level, who just want to play the sport they love with their friends.”

“Texas’ SB15 is unfathomable,” said Mack Beggs, trans wrestler and now-MMA competitor featured in the award-winning documentary Changing the Game. “It’s shameful and it’s unconstitutional. To try to take sports away from transgender students from college after legislators already harmed them at the K-12 level is being cruel for cruelty’s sake. We have always been here. No matter what you take away from us, we are resilient enough to get through whatever is thrown at us. We are strong.”