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NCAA Fails To Protect LGBTQ Athletes

By Charlotte Robinson, January 22, 2022

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) ratified its new constitution without including nondiscrimination policy language that had been a part of their previous constitutions. The organization took this action despite the urging of 18 national advocacy groups across a wide spectrum of issues led by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) & Athlete Ally to reinstate & strengthen previously-existing nondiscrimination policy language protecting LGBTQ athletes, women & athletes of color into their new draft constitution. The NCAA also announced a new policy regarding participation of transgender athletes that raises significant concerns. Joni Madison HRC Interim President stated, “If not through their constitution, the NCAA needs to show us their playbook for protecting LGBTQ+ & specifically transgender athletes from discrimination. The NCAA has so far proven to be an unreliable ally to LGBTQ+ athletes across the country who depend upon the organization to protect them from discrimination & now they owe these athletes answers. Their inaction is giving extremist legislators across the country precisely what they want & need to advance a discriminatory agenda targeting LGBTQ+ & particularly transgender, people: their silence, which provides the cover to push radical policies. Look no further than Indiana’s religious refusal law in 2015 or the 2017 HB2 bathroom bill in North Carolina to see the impact NCAA action can have in defeating discriminatory legislation. Unfortunately, the past two years have been a disastrous example of what happens when the NCAA does nothing meaningful to stand up to this historic discriminatory effort… The NCAA’s unresponsiveness, unwillingness to re-implement common sense language & inability to enforce their own policies to protect athletes vulnerable to discrimination are all deeply disappointing & dangerous. We know they are capable of better.” Read Letter To NCAA…

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