April 29, 2021 (New York, NY) — Athlete Ally responded today to news that West Virginia governor Jim Justice has signed House Bill 3293 into law, which bans transgender student athletes from participating on sports teams consistent with their gender identity. This marks West Virginia as the seventh state to sign a bill banning transgender youth from sports in what has been a record-breaking year of anti-transgender legislation.
“Athlete Ally is deeply concerned by West Virginia’s HB 3293 and the effects it will have on vulnerable youth who simply want to play sports with their friends,” said Anne Lieberman, Director of Policy and Programs at Athlete Ally. “Transgender youth play sports for the same reasons as their cisgender peers — to experience the invaluable lessons of teamwork, hard work and discipline, and to be part of something bigger than themselves along with their friends. Every child in West Virginia deserves to have their life changed for the better through sports. At a time when West Virginia’s economy is recovering from the impacts of COVID-19, passing openly discriminatory legislation targeting kids who want to play sports with their friends will have lasting financial ramifications for the state.”