Governor Bill Lee (R-Tennessee) told reporters Wednesday that transgender athletes should be banned from playing on middle and high school sports teams or they will "destroy women's sports." He's the latest critic of allowing biological males in female sports.
"I do believe that transgenders participating in women's sports will destroy women's sports," Lee told reporters. "It will ruin the opportunity for girls to earn scholarships. It will put a glass ceiling back over women that hasn't been there in some time. I think it's bad for women and for women's sports."
Governor Lee's comments come on the heels of federal legislation from Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) and 13 of his colleagues.
"When transgender athletes compete against women, women's sports are no longer women's sports; they become unisex athletic events," Senator Lee said. "This (Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act) would protect the opportunity of girls throughout America to athletically compete against other girls."
Attorneys at Alliance Defending Freedom, a law firm representing female athletes in Connecticut, say biological males have a physiological advantage over their female competitors.
Angela Hill, a former science teacher turned state senator in Mississippi, feels the same way. Hill has introduced the "Mississippi Fairness Act" in recent years to bar biological males from competing in female sports.
"It's nothing sinister. it's a matter of being fair to these females," Hill told One News Now. "We would be wiping out all the protections that have been put in place for women to be competitive in their own right, so we cannot go backwards and basically minimize women to become a spectator in their own sport."
Hill's latest iteration of the Fairness Act (SB2536) was introduced in mid-January – but must be acted upon by today (February 11) or it dies again. The Tupelo-based AFA Action has contacted its supporters in the Magnolia State, urging them to tell their lawmakers in Jackson to pass it.