Ensuring LGBTQ Inclusion in Sports

By Greta Anderson | Inside Higher ED | April 5, 2021

An advocacy group for LGBTQ equality in sports that grades Division I athletic departments’ policies and practices is raising awareness about inclusion of transgender athletes and pushing colleges to do better.

LGBTQ advocacy groups are calling on college athletic departments to support the participation of LGBTQ students in intercollegiate athletics and to affirm their right to protection in the face of growing political hostility.

The demand by advocates comes at a time when lawmakers in various states are proposing or adopting legislation banning transgender women from competing on women’s sports teams and as the Biden administration reviews Department of Education policies on the participation of transgender athletes on intercollegiate and K-12 teams. The LGBTQ advocates are concerned about whether the athletes will be protected from discrimination given the policies implemented under former secretary of education Betsy DeVos that were aimed at preventing transgender athletes from competing in college and K-12 sports programs.

The advocates want college athletics administrators to enact and publicly support inclusive policies and practices that protect LGBTQ athletes and ensure staff members are adequately trained, said Anna Baeth, director of research for Athlete Ally, a national organization that advocates for LGBTQ inclusion and equality in sports. The group released its third Athlete Equality Index today, which rates the policies of all 353 institutions in Division I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association and how they treat LGBTQ students. The index is an accountability measure to ensure the equal participation of LGBTQ athletes in sports programs.

Click here for the full story in Inside Higher ED

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