Will the NCAA deny Mississippi post season college baseball tournaments due to politics?
The NCAA is back at it again attempting to dabble in state politics, threatening to withhold championship events from those states that do not comply with their left-leaning views.
The NCAA Board of Governors released a statement on Monday saying that they firmly and unequivocally support the opportunity for transgender student-athletes to compete in college sports, adding that this commitment is grounded in their values of inclusion and fair competition.
It is a direct swipe at states like Mississippi, Tennessee, and Arkansas who have recently passed laws that would ban biological men from competing in women’s sports. The Magnolia State passed the Mississippi Fairness Act during the 2021 legislative session and it was signed into law by Governor Tate Reeves.
The NCAA said in their release that the organization has a long-standing policy that provides a more inclusive path for transgender participation in college sports.
“Our approach — which requires testosterone suppression treatment for transgender women to compete in women’s sports — embraces the evolving science on this issue and is anchored in participation policies of both the International Olympic Committee and the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee,” the NCAA states. “Inclusion and fairness can coexist for all student-athletes, including transgender athletes, at all levels of sport. Our clear expectation as the Association’s top governing body is that all student-athletes will be treated with dignity and respect. We are committed to ensuring that NCAA championships are open for all who earn the right to compete in them.”
The NCAA goes further, saying when determining where championships are held, their policy directs that only locations where hosts can commit to “providing an environment that is safe, healthy and free of discrimination should be selected.”
Mississippi has not often been the site for NCAA championship events. However, post season college baseball has been the one area where the state has excelled in hosting regionals in all three major university towns – Hattiesburg, Oxford and Starkville. This year, the NCAA announced that post season baseball sites will be selected based on merit rather than geography, setting predetermined regional and super regional sites by May 10.
The author of the Mississippi Fairness Act is State Senator Angela Hill. Y’all Politics spoke with Hill late Monday night to get her reaction to the NCAA’s latest round of threats against the state.
“The NCAA just stated they will be in places free of discrimination but embracing biological males identifying as women into female only competition is the highest degree of discrimination against biological women,” Senator Hill said. “The NCAA has proudly disavowed Title 9 which was put into law 50 years ago to guarantee women equal opportunity in sports and education.”
Senator Hill said both the NCAA and Major League Baseball are acting as economic shakedown artists attempting to “cancel” state policy decisions that do not meet their degree of “wokeness.”
“These common sense policies they oppose are supported by the majority of our citizens and carried out by duly elected state leaders,” Hill continued. “The best way to stop a bully is to stand up to the bully. Red states have to send a strong message that our policy positions aren’t for sale.”
State Senator Chris McDaniel, a strong supporter of the Mississippi Fairness Act, agreed with his colleague.
“If the NCAA truly cared about providing an environment that is safe and healthy for competitors, it would follow Mississippi’s lead,” McDaniel told Y’all Politics Monday night. “While some will lecture about the NCAA and its ‘woke’ stance regarding men competing in and physically dominating women’s sports, I am comfortable speaking for the overwhelming majority of Mississippians by keeping my comment simple and to the point: to hell with the NCAA.”
At the new law’s signing, Governor Reeves said the Mississippi Fairness Act was an important piece of legislation that will ensure that young girls in Mississippi have a fair, level playing field in public school sports. The Governor said he never envisioned having to sign such a piece of legislation but due to recent actions in D.C. it was necessary.
“But for the fact that President Biden as one of his first initiatives sat down and signed an Executive Order, which in my view encourages transgenderism amongst our young people, but for that fact we wouldn’t be here today,” Reeves said.
Some state leaders are fed up with the state essentially being held hostage over the whims of the NCAA, harkening back to the flag change debate in 2020 where the NCAA’s comments played a role in some minds.
“NCAA libs want to pressure our state legislature AGAIN! Seems like some of us told y’all that it was NEVER about the FLAG,” Northern Transportation Commissioner John Caldwell wrote on Facebook.
The NCAA says they will continue to closely monitor these situations to determine whether NCAA championships can be conducted in ways that are welcoming and respectful of all participants.
Y’all Politics will continue to monitor this developing story. Comments from other state leaders will be added as they are received.
U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith wrote the following on Facebook Tuesday morning:
“Mississippi should not be punished for limiting women’s sports to biologically female athletes, and men’s sports to biologically male athletes.”