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NAIA’s new policy bans transgender women from playing women’s sports

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(The Center Square) – The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics said Monday that transgender women may not participate in women sports in their sanctioned events.

The policy posted on the NAIA’s website states that “Only NAIA student-athletes whose biological sex is female may participate in NAIA-sponsored female sports.” The policy also states that women beginning hormone therapy are not eligible to participate in women’s sports.

“This policy will be subject to review in light of any legal, scientific, or medical developments,” the policy stated.

All athletes are eligible to compete in men’s sports.

The Associated Press reported the NAIA Council of Presidents approved the policy in a 20-0 vote during its annual meeting in Missouri.

The NAIA has 240 member colleges and has produced NBA Hall of Famers Scottie Pippen, who played at Central Arkansas, and Dennis Rodman, who played at Southeastern Oklahoma State.

“The NAIA becomes the first national college governing body to mandate athletes compete with their sex,” Riley Gaines wrote on X. Gaines has become an advocate for single-sex sports after she competed in college while at the University of Kentucky against transgender swimmer Lia Thomas, who was on the University of Pennsylvania team.

“Yes!! @NCAA – your move,” wrote former Fox News commentator Megyn Kelly on X.

The Human Rights Campaign criticized the decision.

“Today, the NAIA decided to bar an entire category of people from competition simply because of a right-wing outrage campaign that purposefully misrepresents and distorts the realities of transgender athletes while doing nothing to support women’s sports,” said Kelley Robinson, president of the Human Rights Campaign, in a press release. “The chilling message this sends not just to other sanctioning bodies but also to youth sports leagues across the country is dangerous and it must be stopped in its tracks.”

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