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'Save Women's Sports Act' to require college athletes to play on teams aligned with biological sex

trans sports
Posted at 3:48 PM, Mar 22, 2023

WACO, Texas — Basketball has been a part of Kassidy Comer's life for as long as she can remember. When she took up the sport in the sixth grade — she fell in love.

"I grew up watching my older brothers play basketball, so it kind of ran in the family," Comer told 25 News.

Her passion has grown throughout the years, landing her a scholarship and a spot on Midwestern State University's women basketball team.

She now uses her platform as a college athlete to support other female athletes and policies she believes will protect them. She said the 'Save Women's Sports Act' currently making its way through the state legislature is one of those policies.

If passed, the bill would require college athletes to compete on sports teams based on their biological sex. That means transgender people would not be able to play on teams aligned with their gender identity.

"There is a biological difference when you see a man playing a sport versus a woman playing a sport," Comer said.

"Women are the ones being hurt, the ones losing scholarships, possibly even getting hurt going up against these men in women's sports."

Comer believes transgender women have a biological advantage and this bill would help keep college sports fair.

"When you're going up against other women, it feels like a reasonable goal," Comer said.

"You have this sight ahead of you where I just have to be stronger than her or faster than her, but when you throw a man into the mix then it becomes this unattainable goal. I cannot be faster than a man or stronger than a man because there is a biological difference."

This bill comes just one year after the 'Save Girls Sports Bill' passed, which set the same restrictions for students through high school.

"It's really just finishing the job we did last year of protecting the integrity of not only girl's sports, but women's sports as well," Senator Mayes Middleton, District 11 told 25 News.

"There could be a lot more at risk because you're talking about scholarships — you're talking about places on team. You're talking about records that take almost a lifetime through hard work and practice to be able to break."

Sen. Middleton introduced the bill earlier this year. He calls it a "simple fairness issue" with bipartisan support from lawmakers.

"There are too many women and generations of women who have come before us today that have fought too hard for the opportunity to compete to not do this bill," Sen. Middleton said.

While the senator said there's a lot of support inside the Capitol, hundreds of protestors met outside the capitol earlier this week to rally against this and other anti-trans bills.

"The objective is simply just to continue marginalize trans people and put the narrative that trans people are deceptive and dangerous," said Landon Richie with the Transgender Education Network of Texas.

Richie was one of the speakers at the event. He said this bill, along with many others introduced this session, can be harmful for young transgender people.

"Being told time and time again that you don't deserve to play in sports with your friends, or you don't deserve the same protection or dignity as your peers, really manifests in depression and suicidal thoughts and ostracization for a community that is already so marginalized," Richie said.

Speakers hoped to get their message across to lawmakers on Monday, urging them to vote against this bill because they say it makes no sense.

"There is no threat of having a trans woman play with cisgender women, no inherent advantage, and no competitive prowess over anybody else," Richie said.

"If there was a rash of men pretending to be women to dominate women's sports, then we would see like people claiming to be trans women dominating women's sports, but we don't," Rally Attendee Blaire Williams said.

"Trans people have been able to compete in the Olympics for 17 years and it's not a thing."

With the future of so many athletes on the line, both sides says they just want what is fair.