Sports: Biden Makes Title Nine Into Title None

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With a swipe of his pen, President Biden virtually eliminated the opportunity for women to compete fairly in athletics and sports. Just moments after his inauguration, Biden signed an executive order “Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation.” It’s meant to specifically address the issue of transgender athletes.

Although this executive order was written to strengthen Title VII (7) of the Civil Rights Act, it has a far greater impact on Title IX (9). The order reads in part, “children should be able to learn without worrying about whether they will be denied access to the restroom, the locker room, or school sports.”

Biden’s order has set back women’s athletics and sports half a century. This “unlevels the playing field for girls,” a New York Post reporter wrote.

The Post article goes on to say the idea of transgender athletes participating in sports with girls is “patently ridiculous.” It may result in “girls losing out on prestigious sports victories (and maybe scholarships that go with them). It also risks greater injuries to women.”

Transgender athletes have been participating on a limited basis in women’s sports, but now the flood gates are open. Just recently, Bloomfield High School transgender athlete Terry Miller won the 55-meter dash at a girl’s indoor track meet in Connecticut. Transgender athlete Andraya Yearwood came in second. Connecticut is one of 17 states that allow transgender high school athletes to compete without restrictions.

TITLE IX HISTORY

Title IX of the Education Amendments passed in of 1972. It prohibits sex discrimination in any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance. It states that no person in the United States shall be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any federally funded education program or activity on the basis of sex.

Title IX applies to approximately 16,500 local school districts and 7,000 post-secondary institutions. Also affected are charter and for-profit schools, libraries, and museums.

The biggest impact was on girl’s and women’s access to athletics and sports. There’s a three-pronged test in its application. Test One is proportionality – opportunities for women and men at the same rates respective to enrollment. Test Two is program expansion – expanding opportunities for the underrepresented sex. And Test Three is full accommodation – offering full accommodation by every team for which there is significant interest and ability for a viable team.

The result of the implementation of Title IX has been increased involvement of girls and women in sports on all levels. Opportunities now exist that never existed before.

However, under the Obama/Biden administration, the Department of Education issued guidance including transgender students under Title IX protections. It instructed schools to treat transgender students consistent with their gender identity, not their birth gender. In 2017, President Trump withdrew the guidance on gender identity.

IMPACT ON WOMEN’S SPORTS

But the impact goes far beyond just participation in sports by girls and women. Athletic scholarships to college and universities have increased since Title IX. That notwithstanding, men still receive $133 million more per year than women in athletic scholarships. While only 32,000 women competed at the intercollegiate level before Title IX, now there are more than 150,000.

In addition, over 100,000 athletic scholarships are awarded annually to women to compete at the collegiate level. Before Title IX there were virtually none, according to athleticscholarships.net.

In jeopardy are the future of women’s sports, athletic scholarships, Olympic competition, and federal funding of education. This isn’t about discrimination, it’s about what fair and right and just.

With his executive order, Biden didn’t just put the glass ceiling back on women’s sports, he nailed it shut. Title Nine, meant to protect women athletes, is now Title None.


Image from: thesun.co.uk


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