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GOP Vows to Protect Women’s Sports on Title IX’s 50th Anniversary

June 23, 2022

On the 50th anniversary of Title IX, Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) held a press conference along with fellow Senators Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wy.), and Senator Roger Marshall (R-Kans.) to highlight the law’s impact on women’s sports and comment on the Biden administration’s plan to revise it. The federal policy, known as Title IX, was passed as part of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, which provided female athletes “equal access to funding, facilities, and athletic scholarships as their male counterparts.”

At the press conference, Tuberville reflected on his early days as a high school women’s basketball coach following the passage of Title IX.

“Today, we’re celebrating that huge success. Why? Because it made a level playing field for men and women in sports back during my early years of coaching,” Tuberville explained. “There might have been 3% to 5% of women that played high school sports. But after the enactment of Title IX, you could see it go straight up. Since 1972, female participation in sports in college and scholarships has risen 600%.”

Apart from increasing the number of women participating in sports, the Alabama senator also mentioned “dedication and teamwork” as some of the values women learn through sports, as well as how Title IX set them up to compete on the global stage. 

“A lot of people don’t understand that sports can transform lives. I’ve seen it many, many times,” Tuberville said. “Title IX has benefited our female athletes because they can compete, not only on the local stage, but now they can compete on a national level. And if you look [at] World Games and the Olympics, we have some of the best athletes in women’s sports all over the world stage because of Title IX. So today, the 50th anniversary of Title IX, we reflect on this impact on all the generations.”

Earlier this morning, the Biden administration released a proposal to dismantle Title IX by expanding the definition of “sex” to include gender identity. 

“It’s the Department of Education’s responsibility to ensure all our students can learn, grow, and thrive in school,” Education Secretary Miguel Cardona told reporters while presenting the proposal. “No matter where they live, who they are, who they love, or how they identify.”

“On the 50th anniversary of Title IX, we should focus on defending women’s athletics — but instead, the Biden administration is actively working to tear down 50 years of Title IX success in just under two years,” emphasized Senator Roger Marshall (R-Kans.).

“If Joe Biden had his way, sports would be divided into a team of men and a team of folks who used to be men. On the anniversary of Title IX, this administration is doing everything in their power to erase women and girls from sports,” argued Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.).

The proposal did not explicitly state if athletes who identify as transgender could compete on the team of their choosing. Instead, there are plans to start a separate process to decide how to “amend the Title IX regulations to address students’ eligibility to participate on a particular male or female athletics team.”

“It just angers me,” admitted Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.). “The Biden administration is working to redefine sex, to include gender identity in the name of ‘anti-discrimination.’ But this is discrimination against women, plain and simple.”

The Mississippi senator explained that ignoring the biological differences between men and women would lead to biological women being robbed of scholarships and career opportunities. 

Hyde-Smith added, “The Biden administration is willing to compromise the prosperity of women just to further its own woke agenda — an agenda that will do lasting damage to [the] progress Title IX has given us for half a century. And we will continue to stand here — not only to defend Title IX — but to defend all female athletes throughout this country so they can have their fair opportunities.”

Deborah Laker serves as a staff writer at The Washington Stand.