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The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, or NAIA, has released a history-making policy that bans transgender women from competing in women’s sports. The roll out reportedly marks the first to be executed by a major college sports organization.

On April 8, the NAIA Council of Presidents voted 20-0 to sanction the transgender student-athlete policy. Effective Aug. 1, only student-athletes whose biological sex at birth is female will be permitted to compete on NAIA-sponsored women’s sports teams.

NAIA, which oversees some 83,000 athletes competing in more than 25 sports, also deems it best that transgender men and trans-masculine students compete on women’s teams if they haven’t started masculinizing hormone therapy, according to the policy. However, those who have begun taking the male hormone testosterone can only partake in workouts, practices and team activities for women’s teams. The NAIA member institution is authorized to approve such participation.

Furthermore, all students, including trans men and trans women, will be approved to compete on men’s teams, according to the policy.

NAIA deems the policy best in all fairness in competition among college student athletes.

Jim Carr, the organization’s president and CEO, told AP that the NAIA’s controversial policy is a reflection of its duty to fair competition and acknowledged that it will spark emotional reactions.

“We know there are a lot of opinions and a lot of people have a very emotional reaction to this, and we want to be respectful of all that,” Carr said. “But we feel like our primary responsibility is fairness in competition, so we are following that path. And we’ve tried as best we could to allow for some participation by all.”

X (formerly Twitter) users react to NAIA’s transgender student-athlete policy




LGBTQI+ members find the policy to be a form of prejudice.


Another X user suggested that transgender people should have their own lane.


Furthermore, Shiwali Patel, senior counsel at the National Women’s Law Center, argued that the history-making policy is “unacceptable and blatant discrimination that not only harms trans, nonbinary and intersex individuals but limits the potential of all athletes.”

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