WASHINGTON, DC — During the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III Track and Field Championships, which begin on March 8, female athletes, coaches, and advocates will gather in Virginia Beach to continue their multi-year protest against male-bodied athletes taking roster spots from female athletes, breaking women’s records, and stealing women’s opportunities to compete in the first instance. On Friday, a male-bodied athlete from Rochester Institute of Technology will sprint to the finish in the women’s 200 meter dash, after seizing records and top podium spots from deserving female athletes.

NCAA policy allows males who identify as women to play women’s sports, so long as their levels of testosterone meet sport-specific requirements. The policy contradicts scientific studies that have found testosterone suppression cannot eliminate the male athletic advantage. Moreover, it ignores the legal obligation of its member schools to provide males and females equal opportunities to compete. 

Demonstration activities are sponsored by Our Bodies, Our Sports, a coalition of women’s advocacy groups from across the political spectrum who are demanding action from the NCAA. Organizations include Independent Women’s Forum, Independent Council on Women’s Sports, the Women’s Sports Policy Working Group (led by Martina Navratilova), Women’s Declaration International, Concerned Women for America, Young Women for America, Women’s Liberation Front, Champion Women, Independent Women’s Network, International Consortium on Female Sport, and Independent Women’s Law Center.

As with other recent demonstrations, the theme for the activities at the DIII Track and Field Championships is ”We Won’t Back Down.” The theme reflects the determination of women across the country to protect the sanctity of the female sporting category.  

Allowing males to compete in women’s sports is discriminatory and unfair. Current NCAA policies put their member schools between a rock and a hard place — forcing schools to choose between complying with the law (Title IX and the laws of over 20 states) and NCAA inclusion policies. 

“Fighting for women and girls’ fairness in sports is not political – it is the right thing to do. We have to keep sex categories in sports to keep girls and women in sports. They must know females have a fair chance at competing and winning. We fought too hard to give them this chance. Let’s keep it that way.” Martina Navratilova, Leader in the Women’s Sports Policy Working Group and one of the greatest tennis players of all time. 

“Champion Women stands with women’s groups to advocate for our sport category everywhere, including the NCAA Division III Championships. This year Champion Women will celebrate its 10-year anniversary. We never thought we would need to add “preventing men from competing in women’s sports” to our mission, but here we are. Until sport leaders respect women’s sports, we will continue to advocate for equal rights in sport for girls and women.” Nancy Hogshead, Olympic Champion swimmer, Civil Rights Lawyer, CEO of Champion Women, providing legal advocacy for girls and women in sports.

“It is so disappointing to see a male athlete taking opportunities away from a female athlete once again. The inclusion of a male athlete from Rochester Institute of Technology in the D3 women’s indoor track and field championships is unfair and it is discriminatory. We will be on the ground to show support for female athletes and to send the message that males do not belong in women’s sports,” said Paula Scanlan, former University of Pennsylvania swimmer and Independent Women’s Forum ambassador.

“As a high school volleyball player, I received a devastating head and neck injury from a biological male player’s spike, while he was playing on the opposing women’s team. We are here today to support female athletes who deserve safe, fair, and equal athletic opportunities,” said Payton McNabb, a recent high school graduate permanently injured by a biological male playing in a women’s volleyball match and Independent Women’s Forum ambassador.

“The NCAA’s repeated allowance of male participation in women’s national championships is an egregious betrayal of female athletes. The blatant disregard for fairness is infuriating as female sprinters are once again denied the level playing field they deserve. It’s disgraceful that the NCAA refuses to establish protected female categories, perpetuating this injustice across every sport and at every level. We will not rest until the rights of female athletes are respected and upheld without compromise,” said Marshi Smith, former University of Arizona swimmer, NCAA and PAC-10 Champion, and Co-founder, Independent Council of Women’s Sports (ICONS).

“NCAA female athletes are under attack by a form of sex discrimination driven by politics and a desire to win condoned by coaches and campuses unwilling to stand up for real women’s rights,” said Kylee Alons, a Young Women for America ambassador and a 31-time All-American swimmer who competed in the NCAA championships that included Lia Thomas. “We are fighting to safeguard the future of women’s opportunities, preserve their privacy and dignity and to prevent another girl from getting hurt or another trophy stolen from a female athlete.”

“At a time when the NCAA faces backlash for suppressing women’s achievements, another female athlete is being denied a place in history so a biological male can make another run at a national podium,” said Doreen Denny, Senior Advisor for Concerned Women for America. “The NCAA has forced its ‘transgender inclusion’ agenda in women’s sports and now into their locker rooms for 14 years with a policy that allows male inclusion in female competition. This discrimination by the NCAA against women must stop.”

“The U.S. chapter of Women’s Declaration International is pleased to stand with women’s groups across the country to take a stand for female-only sports. Article VII of the Declaration on Women’s Sex-Based Rights reaffirms that women and girls have the same right to athletic opportunities as men and boys and we demand the NCAA honor that. No men in women’s sports,” said Kara Dansky, President, Women’s Declaration International USA. 


WHAT: “Our Bodies, Our Sports” Demonstration at the NCAA Division III Track and Field Championships

WHEN: March 8 at 12:30 PM ET

WHERE: Virginia Beach Sports Center

WHY: Show support for Track & Field female athletes and advocate for single-sex athletic competition

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