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Navratilova and Gaines Issue Urgent Warning: Protection for Female Athletes ‘on the Brink’ as NCAA Board Convenes

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Activists believe that the tide is turning against biological males playing in women’s sports and in favor of protecting female athletes.

On Thursday, the Our Bodies Our Sports Coalition hosted an X Spaces Event at which several speakers demanded that the NCAA ban transgender women athletes from competing in female sports.

According to a press release: “Over the last week, the NCAA Board of Governors which meets [Thursday] has received personalized letters by over 7,000 women NCAA athletes asking the organization to repeal the discriminatory policies allowing male bodies to roster onto women’s college teams and taking playing time, competition opportunities, and scholarship from female athletes.”

The speakers ranged from college students forced to compete against biological men to sports stars such as Martina Navratilova, former NCAA swimmer Riley Gaines, and former tennis pro-Martina Navratilova. Women like Payton McNabb, Madison DeBos, and others shared their painful and damaging experiences of competing with transgender sportspeople.

Navratilova noted that some stories were “depressing”, but she took comfort in the fact that “people are becoming more aware of what is going on.”

“It became more emotional because you saw the women who were affected by it. The more athletes, and especially those who have been personally affected by this issue, the more likely they are to speak up. They are the ones who were hurt, those that have lost their sport, and those that did not make the podium. The more they speak out and make it personal, the more people will become aware and the tide can turn even stronger,” Navratilova said.

“Because if you talk about a group of people it can be the perfect thing.” She continued. When you make it personal it is much more visceral and gut-wrenching, and people become emotional and passionate. “I think we should keep the pressure up and speak out.”

Gaines, a contributor to OutKick, acknowledged that it can take “the severity and likelihood” of stories such as McNabb’s to make people realize the importance of protecting girls and women in sports. She remained hopeful that more people were “waking up” about the issue.

“I do believe we’re at a precipice. I think that not only with the gender ideologies movement but also a lot of cultural issues that we are seeing, people have woken up. Gaines stated that none of this stuff matters anymore.

She said, “But I believe people need to be affected for them to feel it necessary and worthwhile to take a position. Even I did. I had to feel something before I spoke.”

More than a dozen college athletes, both current and ex-students, have filed a lawsuit against the NCAA. They claim that its policy on transgender participation violated Title IX. Gaines is one of the athletes who were named in the suit.

The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics announced this month that they would prohibit biological males from participating in female sports. This put further pressure on the NCAA.

A statement posted on the NCAA website Thursday after its Board of Governors’ meeting stated, “The Board of Governors reviewed transgender participation by student-athletes.” The current policy is still being reviewed. The current policy is still under review.

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