Commentary: It’s past time for a transgender athlete division in sports

The U.S. allowed gay marriage and then began banning transgender athletes. It’s time to give them their own division.

Opinion by Vaughn Wilson of HBCU Gameday

We saw the disappointment in Chelsea Mitchell, the fastest biological high school girl in Connecticut in 2020, as she was again defeated in the state championship by a transgender athlete.  Time after time we saw this happening as the world did not have a plan to deal with the growing number of people who identify as female but were born male. 

The obvious result happened swiftly as this became too commonplace. Athletes who were born male were prohibited from competing in races with athletes who were born female.  In many cases, it totally disqualified those individuals from competing in sports.  It was a double-edged sword.  But, something had to be done.  Every biological study shows that the physical structures of males and females are different.  Male athletes are born with a physical advantage.

Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, South Dakota, Tennessee, and West Virginia have all led the country in prohibiting transgender athletes from competing in women’s sports.  Today 21 states adopted similar legislation.

What surprises me is that no one has proposed and executed a transgender division.  Obviously, with the growing number of people identifying as a gender other than assigned at birth, something must be done to adjust and allow those individuals to have the opportunity to compete.

Nowadays when you go to restaurants, you see either gender completely removed from single-toilet restrooms allowing for any individual to use it.  There are also terms like unisex, universal, and all-gender that are commonly used to walk back the gender-specific labels previously used.

It’s time for the high school and collegiate athletic associations to adopt a third division.  The name is up to the individual organizations, but a name like “cross” or “open” group should be studied and adapted.

While I grew up in an era where our society did not openly accept variances in gender definitions, we are not in that era anymore.  We’ve moved forward.  The U.S. almost reneged on its promise to these individuals.  The country passed massive laws protecting gay marriages, gay rights, and other concessions to welcome individuals into the fold.  Now, they are making sweeping laws to prohibit many of the same things they brought into law.  It is a ball of confusion.

All sports need to take a look at addressing the issue of transgender athletes because it will not go away in the near future.  In fact, with the freedoms of choice we allow in the U.S. we need to deal with the issue quickly before a whole generation of transgender athletes is lost and become bitter from being excluded from enjoying sports.

Commentary: It’s past time for a transgender athlete division in sports
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