March 17, 2021: The fight for equality has consistently been the very cornerstone of the Women’s Sports Foundation, and it continues to drive our mission to this day. We steadfastly believe that humanity wins when everyone is treated fairly and equally, including the LGBTQ+ community. As such, we support the Equality Act and its mission to provide non-discrimination protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
All too often many legislators and individuals raise the topic of transgender inclusion in sports as a reason to slow down the progress of this important Act. Many of these concerns and objections perpetuate misinformation around transgender athletes.
Let us be clear, there are many real threats to girls’ and women’s access and opportunity in sports; however, transgender inclusion is not one of them.
It bears repeating that this continuing false rhetoric taking hold is a distraction to the real threats to girls and women in sports, including lack of Title IX understanding and compliance; inequity in compensation, resources, sponsorship and media attention; and harassment and abuse of female athletes and women working in sports. These real threats are well known and well documented, yet they have become tolerated or worse, ignored. These are issues that can and should be addressed to keep girls’ and women’s sports growing and thriving.
Sports participation provides invaluable and life-changing aspects that are equally important to transgender girls – it can help break down barriers, create understanding and provide a place to belong. It is the power of sport that spurs our mission for all girls and women to have equal access and opportunity to play, regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, ability, ZIP code or family income. We believe humanity wins when all girls and women, including transgender girls and women, have the opportunity to play.
WSF supports the Equality Act, and we implore legislators to stop using girls’ and women’s sports as a rationale to deny important protections for ALL Americans.