Athletes and congressional members continued their fight this week to protect women’s sports from encroachment by biological males identifying as transgender, and from the Biden administration’s work to rewrite Title IX.
They also shared support for the bicameral effort to establish National Women’s Sports Week.
In a Thursday morning press conference outside the nation’s Capital, U.S. Reps. Nancy Mace, R-S.C., Ralph Norman, R-S.C., Mary Miller, R-Ill., and Burgess Owens, R-Utah, joined a group that included collegiate swimmers Riley Gaines and Paula Scanlan, and Payton McNabb, the high school volleyball player from North Carolina injured in competition by a transgender female’s spike that hit her in the head.
A number of members of Congress also met with the athletes, one of which was 31-time All-American Kylee Alons from N.C. State.
The resolution is being led by Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, and Rep. Claudia Tenney, R.-N.Y. It centers around the June 23 anniversary of Title IX, the landmark civil rights law signed in 1972 by President Richard Nixon.
In a video posted to Twitter and YouTube by Independent Women’s Voice, Mace – first woman to graduate from The Citadel – told those assembled, “The Left wants to tell you it’s not happening. These young women will tell you that it is happening.”
McNabb, a recent graduate of Hiwassee Dam High in Murphy, was struck in the head by a volleyball on Sept. 1. She said she was always aware of the possibility of injury, but the ball hit by a biological male “was different.” She was rendered unconscious. Today, she still has partial paralysis on her right side, and says she deals with cognitive issues and headaches.
“This was 100% avoidable if female athletes had not been exploited,” she said. “If the adults in the room don’t start standing up and putting an end to the threat to females, there won’t be women’s sports.”
Gaines, advisor to Independent Women’s Voice and a 12-time All-American swimmer at the University of Kentucky, told the youngsters coming and those in competition now to “keep working. We have your back.”
“I’m proud to stand for all women of all backgrounds and to fight to ensure women’s sports remain female,” Gaines said. “I’m standing here for the next generation of girls who are today training to compete, and do not want to have to face men with an unfair biological advantage.”
Gaines appeared before a congressional committee on Wednesday to testify. She was clear to say she does not have a problem with transgender people, or even Lia Thomas, the swimmer who is biologically male and was not only allowed to compete against women but also to undress in a locker room Gaines said an NCAA representative told her was changed from “women’s” to “unisex.”
“My problem is with the NCAA,” Gaines answered a question from Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah. “My problem is the Biden administration pushing a rewrite of Title IX. That is my problem. That’s why I’m here.”
Alons was another in that locker room, that is until she and others on her team found and chose a utility closet behind the bleachers instead.
For Scanlan, she was Thomas’ teammate. This after Thomas had competed for three years at Penn on the men’s team. Scanlan says the university advised her and her teammates not to speak out about the situation, advising they would regret it.
“It’s important to shed light on administrators, universities, and athletic governing bodies that are working against women, just erasing us,” Scanlan said.
Norman, in his turn, asked, “Where’s the media? I can tell you, if we had a transgender group that got together, it’d be full of cameras. But as Burgess said, we’re going to win this fight. Because we’re going to use our voice to explain how wrong this is.
“Folks, this is biblical. God made man and woman.”
Plus the biological science, as Gaines’ T-shirt read, XX does not equal XY – the sex determination chromosomes of women and men, respectively.
“We cannot be silent about this, for the safety of our girls,” Norman said. “Just the fact that we’re having to go through this is not fair.”
He pledged that they’ll go all over the country “telling the truth.”
Miller said on President Biden’s first day he signed executive orders “to destroy Title IX and force young girls to share locker rooms with biological men.”
She introduced Safety and Opportunity for Girls Act on Feb. 9. The bill summary says the proposed legislation “defines sex under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 as a person’s biological sex at birth. The bill also specifies that Title IX does not prohibit schools from having sex-segregated bathrooms, locker rooms, or athletic or academic programs, nor does it authorize the Department of Education to require schools to forgo such sex-segregated facilities or programs in order to receive funding.”
An April fact sheet released by the U.S. Department of Education gave clarification to the proposed changes in Title IX. Included, “The proposed rule would establish that policies violate Title IX when they categorically ban transgender students from participating on sports teams consistent with their gender identity just because of who they are.”
In the summary, it says the rule “builds upon the longstanding Title IX rules that protect equal athletic opportunities for women and girls.”