Dear NCAA Board of Governors,

We, the undersigned current and former NCAA and professional female athletes, strongly urge you to reject a recent call to boycott Idaho for passing its Fairness in Women’s Sports Act. Such bullying tactics are antithetical to the NCAA values of respect, fairness, and civility, and would send a chilling message to women across the U.S. about the NCAA’s commitment to the integrity of women’s sports.

Fairness for female athletes should not be a political or partisan issue. We athletes have diverse views on many topics, but stand united on this fact: protecting the integrity of women’s sports is pro-woman, pro-fairness, and consistent with the purpose and promise of Title IX.

Each one of us has benefitted personally, and many of us professionally, from a fair and level playing field. We have achieved striking success in the sports we love, and we are committed to preserving the same equality of opportunity for future female athletes.

We strongly believe that everyone should have the opportunity to compete, but true athletic parity for women demands that women’s sports be protected for biological females. Protecting the integrity of women’s sports has, for decades, played an integral role in remedying past discrimination against women and empowering them to achieve their full athletic potential.

Studies attest to the reality that comparably fit and trained male athletes have innate physiological advantages over females.[1] Team USA sprinter Allyson Felix holds the most World Championship medals in history. Yet in 2018 alone, 275 high school boys ran faster times in the 400-meter on 783 occasions.[2] Even the world’s best female Olympic athletes would lose to literally thousands of male athletes—including those who would be considered second tier in the men’s category—on any given day.[3] Testosterone suppression does not undo these physiological advantages.[4] We do not want to watch our athletic achievements be erased from the history books by individuals with all the inherent athletic advantages that come from a male body.

The NCAA’s mandate is fair competition. We urge you to reject all calls to boycott and bully Idaho for seeking to preserve fair competition for women and girls across Idaho.

 

Footnotes:
[1] Lundberg et al., Muscle strength, size and composition following 12 months of gender-affirming treatment in transgender individuals: retained advantage for transwomen, available at https://www.biorxiv.org/content/biorxiv/early/2019/09/26/782557.full.pdf.
[2] Doriane Lambelet Coleman, Martina Navratilova, et al. Pass the Equality Act, But Don’t Abandon Title IX, Washington Post (Apr. 29, 2019) https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/pass-the-equality-act-but-dont-abandon-title-ix/2019/04/29/2dae7e58-65ed-11e9-a1b6-b29b90efa879_story.html.
[3] Doriane Lambelet Coleman Oral Testimony on H.R. 5 before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary April 2, 2019, available at https://docs.house.gov/meetings/JU/JU00/20190402/109200/HHRG-116-JU00-Wstate-LambeletColemanP-20190402.pdf.
[4] See, e.g. Lundberg et al., Muscle strength, size and composition following 12 months of gender-affirming treatment in transgender individuals: retained advantage for transwomen, available at https://www.biorxiv.org/content/biorxiv/early/2019/09/26/782557.full.pdf.