Tennessee Becomes Third State To Ban Transgender Athletes From Female Sports Teams

by : Cameron Frew on : 28 Mar 2021 12:15
Tennessee Becomes Third State To Ban Transgender Athletes From Female Sports TeamsPA Images

Transgender athletes will no longer be able to compete in female sports teams in Tennessee, as the state becomes the third in the US to enact such a ban. 

It comes amid a wave of proposed transphobic legislation aimed at preventing transgender people from competing in sports teams where they should be welcomed, in addition to other infringements on life such as impeding healthcare and access to restrooms.


Following Arkansas and Mississippi, as well as other states voting in favour of similar bills, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee signed HB3 on Friday, March 26.

The bill requires that ‘a student’s gender for purposes of participation in a public middle school or high school interscholastic athletic activity or event must be determined by the student’s sex at the time of the student’s birth, as indicated on the student’s original birth certificate’.

HB3, which is transphobic in its language, reads, ‘Allowing boys to compete in girls’ athletic competitions discriminates against girls by regularly resulting in boys displacing girls in competitive events and excluding specific and identifiable girls from opportunities to compete at higher levels and from public recognition critical to college recruiting and scholarship opportunities that should go to those outstanding female athletes.’


After signing the bill, Lee tweeted, ‘I signed the bill to preserve women’s athletics and ensure fair competition. This legislation responds to damaging federal policies that stand in opposition to the years of progress made under Title IX and I commend members of the General Assembly for their bipartisan work.’

Alphonso David, president of Human Rights Campaign, said in a statement, ‘This bill legislates against a problem that simply doesn’t exist and targets transgender kids who are trying to navigate their adolescence.’

He added, ‘Transgender kids are kids. Excluding and discriminating against them does great harm to them and it weakens the communities in which these children feel excluded and marginalised.’


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Cameron Frew

After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BJTC-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He's now left his Scottish homelands and taken up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.

Topics: News, LGBTQ+, Now, tennessee, Trans Rights, US


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