SCOTTSDALE, AZ — Last week, current and former athletes, coaches, and women’s advocates gathered for the multistate Our Bodies, Our Sports “Take Back Title IX” Summer 2024 Bus Tour at Volanti Scottsdale Hangar, which was filled with energized supporters. The landmark tour is making its way across the country throughout the month of June, building upon widespread support to protect women’s sports ahead of the Biden administration’s unlawful Title IX rewrite taking effect on August 1.

Women’s and girls’ equal athletic opportunity, privacy, and safety will take a devastating blow under the new Title IX rules. The regulations strip away protections for women—taking opportunities from women and giving them to men. This doesn’t enforce Title IX, it violates it. That was true before the Biden administration dropped this rule, and it is still true today.

The bus tour is hosted by the Our Bodies, Our Sports coalition, the nation’s first and only coalition of women’s advocacy organizations from across the political spectrum fighting to protect women’s sports.

Speakers at the event shared personal stories of impact and harm due to misguided policies that allow males in women’s spaces, and called for policymakers to restore equal athletic opportunity and fairness to women’s sports. Here is what they had to say:

Paula Scanlan, Independent Women’s Forum ambassador and former University of Pennsylvania swimmer: “It really is about the next generation now. We cannot allow high school girls and younger to go through this—being forced to give up their scholarships in college to male athletes, being forced to undress in locker rooms and bathrooms with [men]. Why are radical gender ideologues forcing this upon the next generation of women through the backdoor? We have the bipartisan support needed to win on this issue, and I know that we will.”

Payton McNabb, Independent Women’s Forum ambassador and volleyball player who was severely injured by a male on a women’s team: “I had dreams of playing in college one day, but that was all taken from me on the volleyball court because a man’s feelings were more important than my safety and every other girl’s safety. Now, Title IX is under attack and women’s spaces will soon be erased. Faced with this reality, we have no choice but to stand up for women and defend basic truth.”

Selina Soule, 4x track and field National Qualifier forced out of regional championships due to males taking women’s spots: “We now have a president who is, in essence, trying to undo the protections Title IX provided for women, and it will infringe upon our rights. If we allow these changes to occur, women will be turned into second-class citizens. We must ensure that women across our great country are protected and have the right to win in their own sports, not just earn a participation trophy.”

Coach 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: “Here’s the most important thing to remember for those who say that we should allow just one boy or one man on the team. If they’re willing to do that, they also have to be willing to systematically allow for the fact that if 12 boys try out for the girls basketball team, then they have to allow those 12 boys to make the team. And my question is this: where do all the girls go? And that’s why we’re here.”

Adriana McLamb, spokeswoman for Independent Women’s Forum, former NCAA Division I volleyball player, and coach and recruiter to aspiring collegiate female volleyball players: “This administration overhauls Title IX on August 1st. All of their language goes into effect this summer; and that takes a 37-word document originally in 1972, and makes it 1500 pages and changes the definition of what it means to be a ‘woman’. It replaces ‘sex’ with ‘gender identity’, [but] we know that you can’t conflate the two. You can’t change your sex—if you’re a woman, you’re a woman, and if you’re a man, you’re a man.”

Kaitlynn Wheeler, former University of Kentucky swimmer who was forced to change in the women’s locker room alongside Lia Thomas at the 2022 NCAA Division I Women’s Swimming & Diving Championships: “We’ve seen a whole new rewrite of Title IX, [and] this rewrite will now give academic and athletic scholarships to men who identify as women. Our language will be compelled, so coaches, athletes, students, faculty members, if you don’t abide by preferred pronouns, you can be reprimanded and charged with sexual harassment under these new guidelines that the Biden administration has written. We’re here today to fight back and stand up for truth, because for far too long they’ve called us the silent majority. We need to change that—we need to become the loud majority.”

Lauren Bondly, former National Champion and 2x Arizona Women’s State Champion in triathlon, and resident of Phoenix, Arizona: “Title IX is concerned with education, so I would encourage those who have the power to change it to really think about the education girls and women are getting and the education the boys are getting when they watch the girls being told to be silent and respect a man’s feelings even while he is disrespecting their physical boundaries. The message we send girls and young women matters.”

Alison Furno, fitness instructor, volleyball coach, and resident of Phoenix, Arizona: “Nothing diminishes a girl’s confidence more than feeling like she’s not good enough to compete. When you allow a boy into a girl’s league, you are diminishing that fundamental right for that little girl to find out who she really is. To find out that she’s worth it, to find out her role and responsibilities on a team, to learn that with hard work, you can earn that starting spot on the court.”

Sami Keddington, former professional disc golfer and Scottsdale, Arizona, Chapter member of Independent Women’s Network: “In 2023, at the Memorial Disc Golf Championship here in Scottsdale, Arizona, a fellow opponent of mine and I lost out on placing cash because a male competitor who claimed to be a transgender woman placed higher than us in the female division. I’d been competing in Memorial for years after competing in disc golf for 12 years prior, whereas the male had only been competing for a few years, and this was his first time competing in the Memorial Championship. He took fourth place.”

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Click HERE to see upcoming stops on the bus tour.




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