House Makes a Splash with Push to Save Girls’ Sports
The NCAA may be pushing the transgender envelope publicly, but is the group’s leadership actually on board? Or are they just too scared to speak out? According to swimmer Riley Gaines, the story behind closed doors is dramatically different than the lines Americans are being fed in the media. At the most recent NCAA convention, Gaines talked to dozens of athletic directors, university presidents, and chancellors, and “They all said to me, ‘Keep doing what you are doing, we support you. We just can’t do it publicly.”
To Gaines’s surprise, her list of supporters even included NCAA President Mark Emmert, who quietly told her “to keep up the pressure against trans ‘women’ being allowed to compete against natural-born women.”
The former University of Kentucky Wildcat was as stunned as she was appalled. “I can’t even tell you how frustrating that is — to have these people who have the power to make these changes basically look me and my teammates, and the other people I am advocating with, in my face and tell me, ‘Keep doing what you’re doing. We have the power to help, and we think we should help, but we’re not going to help,’” Gaines vented to The College Fix.
By her estimation, about 95% of the people she talked to at the booth agreed with her about protecting women’s sports. They’re just too terrified to say it. And that’s not okay, Gaines insisted. “Why are the women collateral damage to affirm these males’ identities? So that is what colleges and universities need to do — they need to protect women.”
Fortunately, that cowardice doesn’t extend to the new House majority, where the chamber’s Education Workforce Committee held its first hearing on Rep. Greg Steube’s (R-Fla.) Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act Wednesday. This is the third time the Florida congressman has introduced his legislation; the other two versions died under Democratic control.
Now, thanks to Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s (R-Calif.) support, the GOP is as motivated as ever to do what the NCAA and White House will not. Even now, the president’s team is trying to rewrite the Title IX rules, paving the way for men to steal girls’ championships, scholarships, privacy, and opportunity. In a sign of just how polarizing Joe Biden’s agenda is, more than 200,000 comments were filed with the Department of Education when his proposal to trans Title IX was announced last summer. But Biden’s refusal to seal the deal, the Left complains, is leaving the window open for conservatives to act.
And act they have. Eighteen states now have laws on the books barring transgender-identifying athletes from competing in some ways, even as Democrats sue to slow them down in West Virginia, Indiana, Utah, and Idaho. “They’re doing their best to obliterate [women],” Congresswoman Mary Miller (R-Ill.) told Tony Perkins on “Washington Watch” Wednesday. But, she insisted, “We are going to pass legislation … out of committee to protect our girls.”
Like so many Americans, Miller was astonished at how quickly the president acted to undo a half-century of women’s rights. She pointed out that “on day one” Biden signed executive orders to “abolish the benefits of Title IX for our girls. … So I’m very excited that we’re going to put a stop to this.”
“It’s amazing that it even requires legislation,” Perkins shook his head. “I mean, we’re literally at a day where we can’t agree on a definition of what a woman is.” Miller could only agree, lamenting how far the culture has come in just a few short years. “If we would have predicted this 10 years ago, people would have thought we were crazy. And I tell people all the time [about] the Left, if they could, they would. And we just cannot be passive or indifferent. And we can’t be motivated by fear… ”
If there is fear, it’s not because the GOP pushback is unpopular. Biden’s changes to Title IX are wildly out of step with the American people, polling continues to show. According to the latest numbers, almost 80% of Americans think letting biological boys compete against girls is “harmful.”
And as more teams are forced to forfeit their dreams over this delusional mindset, Gaines says the Left can no longer claim that this is a “non-issue” for girls. “This is so underreported that it’s mind-blowing,” she argued last month. “This is happening to children and women of all ages and all sports all the way from peewee to Masters. … But even if that were true — let’s say even one woman is displaced — it’s bigger than just being displaced. It’s the systemic eradication of women that the Left is trying to achieve.”
Suzanne Bowdey serves as editorial director and senior writer at The Washington Stand.