ICONS Prepares To Sue NCAA To Stop Trans From Playing On Women's Teams
Group says forcing girls and women to compete against biological men constitutes discrimination on the basis of sex.
An issue that has roiled women’s sports for years may soon come to the fore as the Independent Council on Women’s Sports (ICONS) warns it will file a sex discrimination lawsuit if the NCAA continues to permit male athletes to compete in women’s events.
“The NCAA has adopted discriminatory policies and broken the law, intentionally treating women and girls unjustly,” says ICONS Co-Founder Kim Jones, a former Stanford All-American tennis player.
In a press release, ICONS says it is “impossible” to provide equal opportunities for sexes as required under Title IX of the Civil Rights Act without female-only teams - “Yet the NCAA implements and perpetuates a policy of allowing male athletes on women’s teams, even as sports governing bodies and federal courts increasingly reject these unjust and inequitable policies that exclude young women from their own teams.”
ICONS retained the Wisconsin-based law firm, Jackson Bone, LLP, which delivered a legal demand letter to the NCAA Office of Legal Affairs last week.
“We hereby demand that you take direct and immediate action to establish rules to keep women’s collegiate sports female,” the letter states.
In addition to repealing policies and rules that allow male athletes to take roster spots on women’s teams and/or compete in women’s event, the group is demanding the NCAA require colleges to provide single-sex locker rooms for female athletes.
The demand letter is endorsed by numerous organizations, including Women’s Liberation Front, Independent Women’s Forum, Women’s Declaration international, Alliance Defending Freedom, Champion Women, Women’s Sports Policy Working Group, Concerned Women for America, International Consortium on Female sports, and more.
The issue of permitting transgender athletes on women’s teams has sharply divided women’s organizations and sport groups. The Women’s Sports Foundation, founded by Billie Jean King, supports opening women’s sports to biological men who identify as women. (The WSF has declined to answer questions about whether it receives funding from trans organizations.)
At one point, the pressure on young college female athletes was so great that they were afraid to oppose or protest being forced to compete with inherently more powerful biological males. Moreover, federal courts have shown little sympathy for female athletes.
ICONS is supported by female sports icons Donna de Varona, a two-time Olympic Gold medalist in swimming, tennis great Martina Navratilova, Olympic champion hurdler Benita Fitzgerald, Tour de France cyclist Inga Thompson and many other noted female athletes.
Title IX was passed in 1972 to provide equal opportunity to women in educational programs and activities, including female athletics. There was never a hint of a thought that Title IX would be one day construed by courts and the NCAA to protect biological males who identify as women.
Democratic President Joe Biden on his first day in office signed an executive order prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender identity.
The issue doesn’t just concern women’s athletics but also extends to spaces that historically were set aside for women and girls for privacy and security reasons. This includes locker rooms, prisons, domestic violence shelters, restrooms, homeless shelters, etc.
Studies show that male-to-female transgender athletes possess insurmountable biological advantages over women and girls.
Navratilova recently said, “I played against taller women. I played against stronger women, and I beat them all. But if I faced the male equivalent… that’s biology. I would have no shot.”