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Anti-trans activists plan mass protest at NCAA convention this Thursday

A coalition of groups call on the NCAA to ban trans women from intercollegiate women’s sports.

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NCAA President Charlie Baker is a prime target of a planned protest by anti-trans advocates during this week’s NCAA Convention in Phoenix
Photo by David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The 2024 NCAA convention began Wednesday in Phoenix, Ariz. Observers note that the main focus of this convention will center around possible changes in regulations surrounding name, image and likeness.

A coalition seeking a ban on transgender women in NCAA women’s sports announced Tuesday they plan to hold a mass demonstration during the convention to press NCAA President Charlie Baker to change current policy on the issue.

“Shame on Charlie Baker for continuing to enforce this discriminatory policy,” noted Independent Women’s Forum Vice President Jennifer C. Braceras, in a written statement. “The NCAA may not be bound by Title IX, but the schools that make up its membership are, and the NCAA has an obligation to help its member schools comply with equal opportunity mandates, not subvert them.”

Riley Gaines recently aided in getting anti-trans legislation passed in Ohio and now refocuses on NCAA policy
Ohio Channel

The rally, sponsored by a coalition called “Our Bodies, Our Sports,” is another piece in what has been a priority for the varied groups set to protest since Baker took over at the NCAA last March. The college-sports governing body overhauled its now-12-year-old trans-athlete policy in 2022. The policy became a three-stage process that would include transgender student-athlete eligibility on a sport-by-sport basis.

The NCAA would use the regulations from the world or national governing bodies of the individual sports to decide eligibility. That policy was originally scheduled to go into effect in this academic year, but NCAA leadership decided last January to delay implementation until the 2024-2025 academic year “to allow additional time to address operational considerations of the policy.”

Among those operational considerations are schools gaining a better understanding of the revamped policy, and to account for world and national governing bodies who are making their own policy modifications.

Some world governing bodies whose sports are NCAA varsity sports, such as swimming and track and field, have banned trans women from female competition in the last year.

This upcoming rally is the fourth such effort spearheaded by anti-LGBTQ organizations such as the IWF Concerned Women for America, in conjunction with sports groups such as the Independent Council on Women’s Sports.

Former University of Kentucky swim athlete and anti-trans advocate Riley Gaines, who recently testified for Ohio’s combination ban on gender-affirming health care, as well as trans girls in female sports, is also expected to attend. She has publicly called for a meeting with Baker along with a group of supporting former college athletes.