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Read the names of the 300+ women athletes who signed a letter from an anti-trans group to the NCAA

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They’re 309 women who oppose transgender inclusion in sports, and wanted to do so in secret. But Martina Navratilova and her cosigners could not hide from us.

Martina Navratilova tops the list of signatories.
Screengrab

Outsports has obtained the names of more than 300 women athletes who signed a letter sent to the Board of Governors of the National College Athletic Association last week, expressing their opposition to transgender inclusion.

Eight of the names were made public last week, but the names of the other 301 women were kept secret. Until now.

The anti-trans group, Save Women’s Sports, collected the 309 names in the interest of pressuring the NCAA leadership ahead of its meeting this week. In June, the NCAA announced it would consider what to do about that state’s new law, HB500, which bans trans student athletes from competing according to their authentic gender. Opponents of the law called for next year’s March Madness tournament games to be moved from Boise, Idaho, as the NCAA did when North Carolina enacted anti-trans legislation. The NCAA is already on record as opposing the Idaho law, along with 108 other groups and corporations.

With hundreds of women supporting its effort, Save Women’s Sports sent its letter asking the NCAA for a “fair and level playing field” for women’s sports — coded language which means the group opposes trans women being allowed to compete with women who are cisgender — and then SWS posted a redacted version on its website. SWS did include the names of four women who signed the letter in a press release posted online. The ultra-conservative, anti-trans website The Federalist, obtained four more names for its report.

The idea that anyone would publicly boast that they had the support of 300+ women, but would only identify eight of them, struck Outsports contributor Karleigh Webb as odd. So she wrote an op-ed asking why the other women who signed the letter were unnamed.

Christina Holcomb, an attorney for the extremist hate group, Alliance Defending Freedom, claimed to have inside knowledge of why those names were kept secret, telling the Federalist some of the signers were “afraid of the backlash that they might get on social media, of being labeled a transphobe or a hater.”

Save Our Women’s Sports told Outsports in a tweet, “We don’t have anything to prove to you. The NCAA has the names and that is all that matters.”

And now we do, too, and it’s up to the athletes who signed the letter to answer for it.

Despite what some may say, this is not a witch-hunt. We oppose all violence, especially the significantly greater incidents of violent attacks on trans people, and murders. compared to the number of threats that cisgender opponents of trans inclusion have claimed and reported. We sought these names in the public interest, because those who stand in favor of discrimination ought to be held accountable. And that’s all this is.

Interesting notes about these names:

The very first name atop the list of signatories is Martina Navratilova, whom Outsports readers will recall has been an outspoken opponent of transgender inclusion. While she has moderated her statements over the past year, especially in the wake of a documentary she made with the BBC on the topic, she obviously remains firmly opposed to trans inclusion in women’s sports. I reached out to Ms. Navratilova for comment via social media prior to publication but I did not receive a response prior to press time.

Readers will note that some signatories decided to not share their last names, or used only their initials.

Also on the list: at least five women who also signed an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in the landmark case of Harris Funeral Homes v. the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. In June, that case was decided in favor of the late Aimee Stephens and was a historic victory for all transgender Americans, as well as anyone identifying as LGBTQ. Despite the thousand or so people who added their names to the brief, the highest court in the land affirmed that Americans can not be fired simply because of their gender identity or sexual orientation.

The six who signed both documents opposing trans rights are, in alphabetical order:

1. Linda Blade of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada (listed as Maryland in the letter)

2. Jade Dickens of Texas, a professional powerlifter

3. Kim Harmon of Ohio, an NCAA Track & Field athlete

4. Maria Irizarry of Florida, an NCAA swimmer

5. Christine Pierce of Arizona, an NCAA Softball athlete

6. Tiffani Railey of Florida, also an NCAA Softball athlete.

UPDATE: Coach Linda Blade of Canada, an NCAA All-American in the heptathlon who opposes trans inclusion in sports, confirmed in tweets that she signed both the amicus brief and the letter, and explained that she identified herself as a resident of Maryland because that is where she competed in college. Her tweets Sunday night leave no doubt as to where she stands on the issue. Blade also took time to give Navratilova a shoutout and to bash Outports as “bullies” for publishing the list of names.

Also: post-publication, Karleigh Webb did some digging and identified at least one athlete who signed the letter (in addition to Navratilova) who was the subject of a prior story in Outsports: cyclist Inga Thompson.

As you scan the screenshots below, note that they include the 309 women’s names, states of residence and their sport, but the list appears to have been compiled randomly, and not according to alphabetical order.

Finally, the letter posted to the SWS website is different from the one sent to the NCAA that we obtained; the online version includes footnotes pointing readers to works the group claims support its position opposing transgender inclusion; the actual letter sent to the NCAA does not include these.

Below, the actual letter dated July 29 sent by Save Women’s Sports to the NCAA, and below that, screenshots of the signatories to that letter which the group tried to hide from public view.

NCAA Save Women’s Sports Letter Transgender Idaho
NCAA Save Women’s Sports Letter Transgender Idaho
NCAA Save Women’s Sports Letter Transgender Idaho
NCAA Save Women’s Sports Letter Transgender Idaho
NCAA Save Women’s Sports Letter Transgender Idaho

Outsports reached out to Save Women’s Sports via email and social media seeking comment, but did not receive a response by press time.