PHOENIX, AZ – On January 11, current and former NCAA female athletes, coaches, and parents will rally outside of the 2024 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Convention in Phoenix, Arizona, to demand that the organization stop discriminating against female athletes by allowing males to compete in women’s sports.

The rally’s theme, “We Won’t Back Down,” reflects the determination of female athletes and coaches to get the NCAA to revoke its controversial and unscientific Transgender Student-Athlete Participation Policy. The policy allows males who identify as women to participate in women’s sports if they suppress their natural testosterone for at least one year and achieve levels set by the governing bodies of their particular sport. A comprehensive review of the scientific literature by IWLC and IWF reveals that hormone injections do not eliminate the male athletic advantage over females. The report also concludes that, even without any male athletic advantage, the participation of males in women’s sports takes away opportunities for women to compete. 

In Phoenix, swimmers Riley Gaines, Paula Scanlan, Kylee Alons, and volleyball player Macy Petty will continue to call on NCAA President Charlie Baker to meet with them to hear how allowing men in women’s sports hurt them. Baker has ignored numerous requests to meet with female athletes against whom the NCAA has discriminated.

Women have come too far to be erased.

The rally is sponsored by Our Bodies, Our Sports, a coalition of women’s advocacy groups from across the political spectrum, including Independent Women’s Forum, Women’s Liberation Front (WoLF), Women’s Declaration International (WDI-USA), Independent Council on Women’s Sports (ICONS), Champion Women, International Consortium on Female Sport, Women’s Sports Policy Working Group, Concerned Women for America, Alliance Defending Freedom, Young Women for America, Independent Women’s Law Center, and Independent Women’s Network.

This event is the fourth Our Bodies, Our Sports coalition event featuring female athletes and coaches speaking out against men in women’s sports. Previous events include the 2022 rally in Washington, D.C., to mark the 50th Anniversary of Title IX, the 2023 rally at the NCAA Convention in San Antonio, TX, and the 2023 rally at the USA Cycling National Championships in Knoxville, TN, which succeeded in pushing Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) to bar biological male athletes from competing in the women’s cycling division.

The “We Won’t Back Down” rally will promote fair athletic policies rooted in science and advocate for female athletes and the elimination of discrimination against them in their own sport.

“Shame on Charlie Baker for continuing to enforce this discriminatory policy,” said Jennifer C. Braceras, vice president for Legal Policy at Independent Women’s Form and founder of Independent Women’s Law Center. “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, an Independent Women’s Forum ambassador, added, “Female athletes work our entire lives to compete in sports, only to have the NCAA destroy our even playing field. This devalues female athletes and women in general,” ahead of participating in her fourth Our Bodies, Our Sports event. “Sex-based categories are important for competitive sports just like age classifications and weight categories. We are asking very little of the NCAA. Maintain the fairness necessary for competition and safety.”

Following the rally calling on the NCAA to stop discrimination, the athletes, coaches, parents, and sponsor organizations will hand deliver a new demand letter and petition to the NCAA signed by thousands of female athletes from across the country. 


WHAT: Our Bodies, Our Sports: We Won’t Back Down Rally

WHEN: January 11, 2024, at 11 a.m. MT (1 p.m. ET)

WHERE: Press Event and Rally at the Marvin A Andrews Plaza + Activity outside of the NCAA Convention in Phoenix, AZ

WHY: Show support for women athletes and single-sex athletic competition 

Speakers to include:

  • Riley Gaines, 12x All American swimmer and Independent Women’s Forum ambassador
  • Paula Scanlan, former University of Pennsylvania swimmer and Independent Women’s Forum ambassador
  • Kim Russell, former Head Women’s Lacrosse Coach at Oberlin College and Independent Women’s Forum ambassador
  • Kylee Alons, NCAA 31x All American swimmer, 2x NCAA National Champion, and 5x ACC Champion at North Carolina State University, Young Women for America ambassador
  • Macy Petty, NCAA volleyball player and Young Women for America ambassador
  • Megan Burke, 2x NCAA champion, track and cross country athlete from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Independent Women’s Network chapter leader
  • Cady Mullens, mother of Lily Mullens, NCAA athlete and captain of Roanoke Women’s Swim team. Lily spoke out about a male joining their team after swimming on the men’s team the year prior
  • Jamie Holmes, former Head Volleyball Coach at UC Davis
  • Madisan DeBos, Southern Utah University D1 cross country and track athlete whose relay team competed against a male athlete
  • Christy Mitchell, mom of Chelsea Mitchell, NCAA athlete and plaintiff in Soule v CAS. Chelsea lost four state championships, two all-New England awards, and additional other honors to trans-identified male competitors
  • Nancy Hogshead, 2x All American, 4x ACC Champion swimmer, 3x Olympic champion and silver medalist, and CEO of Champion Women
  • Marshi Smith, former NCAA and PAC-10 champion swimmer from the University of Arizona, and co-founder of Independent Council on Women’s Sports (ICONS) 
  • Barbara Ehardt, former 15-year career NCAA Division I women’s basketball coach; former NCAA basketball player; and current member of the Idaho House of Representatives from the 33rd district
  • And more!

*Mult-box provided

MEDIA RSVPs: Please email [email protected] with name and outlet.