SAVE WOMEN’S SPORTS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
INDIANAPOLIS – More than 300 current and former professional, Olympic, and collegiate female athletes sent a letter Wednesday to the National College Athletic Association, urging it to reject the call to boycott Idaho for protecting the integrity of women’s sports. The signers include more than 40 professional athletes, several Olympians, and numerous current and former NCAA female athletes. This comes after activist groups called for the NCAA to boycott Idaho for passing the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act. The law protects fair competition and athletic opportunities for women by ensuring that only female athletes compete in women’s sports.
The letter asks the NCAA not to give into “bullying tactics” that are “antithetical to the NCAA values of respect, fairness, and civility” by moving its scheduled competitions to another state. The letter also argues that the NCAA would “send a chilling message” to female athletes across the country “about the NCAA’s commitment to the integrity of women’s sports” if they were to succumb to activist calls to boycott Idaho.
“I agree with the letter. Those that want to compete as transgender male-to-female athletes should be accommodated in a more creative, open, or separate category,” said Donna de Varona, a Title IX pioneer and double Olympic gold medalist in swimming.
“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,” the letter states.
“You don't need to be especially political or religious to believe that women’s sports should only be for adult biological females,” said Beth Stelzer, founder of Save Women’s Sports and a medaling powerlifter. “Common sense and science tell us that men and women are different. Because of those differences, girls and women deserve the opportunity to compete, bond, train, suffer and enjoy victory without the presence of male bodies in their competitions or locker rooms.”
Signatories include world-class cyclist Jennifer Wagner-Assali, world-champion track athlete Cynthia Monteleone, and Title IX pioneers Donna de Varona and world champion marathon swimmer Sandra Bucha-Kerscher.
To read the full letter or to learn more about this Save Women’s Sports initiative, please visit www.savewomenssports.com.
Save Women’s Sports is a coalition that seeks to preserve biology-based eligibility standards for participation in female sports.
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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. 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. 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. Testosterone suppression does not undo these physiological advantages. 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.
 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.
 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.
 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.
 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.
7/29/20 - By Valerie Richardson
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