New York, NY (March 26, 2021) — Athlete Ally responded to news that yesterday, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson signed the so-called Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, which bans transgender women and girls from competing in school sports teams consistent with their gender identity; and to news that today, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee signed a new bill into law requiring that students must participate in middle and high school sports according to their gender as assigned at birth.
“We are devastated to see attacks against transgender youth now being played out in Arkansas,” said Anne Lieberman, Director of Policy and Programs at Athlete Ally. “There is nothing fair about the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, which singles out transgender youth who simply want to participate in the sport they love. Access to sport is a human right, and every child in Arkansas and across the country deserves to be able to play.”
“Already in 2021, we’ve seen at least 35 bills in more than 25 states attempting to ban transgender youth from sports,” said Joanna Hoffman, Director of Communications at Athlete Ally. “Tennessee’s bill is heartbreaking to see, not only for trans youth who are now sidelined from playing sports with their friends, but also for their teammates and coaches. When trans youth can be fully themselves on and off the playing field, participation is stronger for all children. We will fight to see this discriminatory bill repealed, and to let trans youth know that they are loved and supported.”