Global Sport Community Calls on NCAA to Stand With Trans Athletes

June 10, 2020 (New York) — Today, World Cup Champion Megan Rapinoe, NBA players Jason Collins and Reggie Bullock, tennis champion Billie Jean King, and other Professional, Olympic and Paralympic athletes joined advocacy groups and more than 500 college student-athletes in calling on the NCAA to move championships out of Idaho in response to the passage of a state law that discriminates against transgender athletes by barring them from competing consistent with their gender identity, and subjects all female athletes to the possibility of invasive genital and genetic screenings.

“Today, the sports community took a powerful stand in support of trans athletes having equal access and opportunity in sport,” said Hudson Taylor, Executive Director of Athlete Ally. “With one unified voice, professional athletes, student athletes and advocacy groups are demanding the NCAA stand on the right side of history by reaffirming their commitment to ensuring sport is safe and welcoming for all, and that trans athletes are able to be fully who they are on and off the playing field.”

“It’s incredibly important to me as a cisgender athlete to stand in support of the trans community,” said NBA player and Athlete Ally Ambassador Reggie Bullock. “This is personal to me because my slain transgender sister Mia would have wanted me to use my platform to advocate for trans athletes. Idaho’s House Bill 500 is a tremendous step backwards for equality and for humanity. We need to be celebrating our trans athletes, not holding them back from playing the sport they love.”

Please find the full athlete letter below, the student-athlete letter here, and the advocacy group letter here.


 

Dear NCAA Bid Selections Committee,

We, the undersigned, urge you to move all NCAA championship events in 2021 out of Idaho. As the unifying governing body of college athletics, the NCAA has tremendous power in setting the standard for how values of diversity and inclusion can be reflected in policies and practices, and inspiring athletes, teams, schools and other institutions to do the same. This is the time for the NCAA to stand with us on the right side of history, in support of the rights of all athletes in Idaho to compete in the sports they love.

In late March and amidst a global pandemic, Idaho enacted House Bill (HB) 500, which explicitly and illegally discriminates against transgender athletes by barring them from competing consistent with their gender identity, and subjects all female athletes to the possibility of invasive genital and genetic screenings.

In 2016, the NCAA took a powerful stand against anti-LGBTQ discrimination in North Carolina by moving championship games out of the state and by affirming its commitment to operating championships and events that promote an inclusive atmosphere. With the passage of HB500, there can be no inclusive championships and events in Idaho. Failure to move championship events out of Idaho would contradict the NCAA’s core values and would be an implicit endorsement of Idaho’s discriminatory law.

Since the beginning of competitive sport, we have become a better and stronger global athletic community by expanding access, not by withholding it. With this letter, we ask the NCAA to stand with their commitment to inclusivity, and move all events out of Idaho.

Billie Jean King, Former Professional Tennis Player, Founder of the Women’s Sports Foundation
Jason Collins, Former Professional Basketball Player, NBA
Megan Rapinoe, Professional and Olympic Soccer Player, US Soccer Women’s National Team and Seattle Reign, NWSL
Layshia Clarendon, Professional Basketball Player, New York Liberty, WNBA
Sue Bird, Professional and Olympic Basketball Player, Seattle Storm, WNBA
Meike Babel, Former Professional Tennis Player, WTA
Matt Bersano, Professional Soccer Player, San Jose Earthquakes, MLS
Pam Boteler, Professional Sprint Canoer, Team USA
Angel Bovee, Former Professional Boxer, Team USA
Reggie Bullock, Professional Basketball Player, NY Knicks, NBA
Indi Cowie, Professional Soccer Freestyler
Austin da Luz, Former Professional Soccer Player, MLS
Sasha DiGiulian, Professional Rock Climber
Imani Dorsey, Professional Soccer Player, Sky Blue FC, NWSL
Abby Dunkin, Paralympic Wheelchair Basketball Player, Team USA
Aja Evans, Olympic Bobsledder, Team USA
Tadd Fujikawa, Professional Golfer, PGA
Lauren Gibbs, Olympic Bobsledder, Team USA
Angela Hucles, Former Professional and Olympic Soccer Player, Team USA/NWSL; Former President of the Women’s Sports Foundation
Sacha Kljestan, Professional and Olympic Soccer Player, LA Galaxy, MLS and US Men’s National Team
Phaidra Knight, Former Professional Rugby Player, US Rugby Women’s National Team
Casey Legler, Former Olympic Swimmer, Team USA
Amazin LeThi, Former Professional Bodybuilder
Lori Lindsey, Former Professional Soccer Player, US Soccer Women’s National Team
Esther Lofgren, Former Olympic rower, Team USA
Robyn Love, Paralympic Wheelchair Basketball Player, Great Britain
Margaret Lu, Professional Fencer, Team USA
Patricio Manuel, Professional Boxer
Oksana Masters, Paralympic Rower and Cross Country Skier, Team USA
Kaiya McCullough, Professional Soccer Player, Washington Spirit, NWSL
Erica Meacham, Semi-Professional Women’s Football Player, The Oregon Hawks, WFA
Jessica Mendoza, ESPN Broadcaster and Former Professional Softball Player, Women’s National Team
Elana Meyers Taylor, Former Olympic Bobsled, Team USA
Chris Mosier, Duathlete, Team USA
Aimee Mullins, Paralympic Track and Field athlete, Team USA
Alana Nichols, Paralympic Wheelchair Basketball Player and Alpine Skier, Team USA; President of the Women’s Sports Foundation
Matt Pacifici, Soccer Former Professional Soccer Player, MLS
Quinn, Professional Soccer Player, Canada Soccer National Team and Seattle Reign, NWSL
Maya Reddy, Former Professional Golfer, Symetra Tour
Juliana Riotto, Professional Weightlifter, USA Weightlifting
Angela Ruggiero, Former Olympic Ice Hockey, Team USA
Michael Sam, Former Professional Football Player, NFL
Ben Skinner, Professional Rugby Player, Canada Ravens, Canada’s National Rugby League
Brad Stuver, Professional Soccer Player, NYCFC, MLS
Kedzie Teller, Professional Quidditch Player, Major League Quidditch, Team USA
Haley Videckis, Former Basketball Player and LGBTQ+ Advocate
Gaby Vincent, Professional Soccer Player, Utah Royals FC, NWSL
Hannah Wilkinson, Professional and Olympic Soccer Player, New Zealand Women’s National Team
Ben Willis, Professional Soccer Player, Rio Grande Valley FC Toros, USL Championship
Chelsea Wolfe, BMX Freestyle Professional BMX Freestyle, Team USA