Gov. McMaster says the NCAA ‘ought to mind their own business’ regarding transgender laws

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FILE – In this Jan. 27, 2021 file photo, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster talks about vaccine distribution and abortion during a news conference in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins, file)

COLUMBIA, S.C. WBTW) – Gov. Henry McMaster criticized the NCAA about its talk of barring states with anti-transgender laws from holding championships.

The NCAA Board of Governors issued a statement Monday in support of transgender athletes and discussed what that would mean for future tournaments held around the country.

McMaster said the NCAA should mind “their own business” when it comes to state laws. The governor was asked if the NCAA’s statement changes his thoughts on any transgender legislation in the state. “No, it doesn’t,” he said, “I think the NCAA ought to mind their own business.”

On Monday, the NCAA board of directors said their approach includes a path for transgender participation and when determining where championships are held, “NCAA policy directs that only locations where hosts can commit to providing an environment that is safe, healthy and free of discrimination should be selected.”

But McMaster said, “If they want to pass laws, they need to run for office.” The governor echoed the comment on Tuesday in a tweet with a video clip:

Last month, 23 South Carolina Republicans signed onto a measure aimed at blocking hormonal treatments for transgender youth. The measure would bar doctors from prescribing medication or performing procedures to alter gender or delay puberty for anyone under age 18, with felony charges possible for doctors who violate the law.

However, a committee in the South Carolina House rejected a bill that would have prevented transgender students from playing on girls’ sports teams in middle and high school. The House Judiciary Committee tabled the bill without a recorded vote, likely dooming any chance it has of passing in 2021.

Read the full statement from the NCAA below:

The NCAA Board of Governors firmly and unequivocally supports the opportunity for transgender student-athletes to compete in college sports. This commitment is grounded in our values of inclusion and fair competition.

The NCAA 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. 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.

When determining where championships are held, NCAA policy directs that only locations where hosts can commit to providing an environment that is safe, healthy and free of discrimination should be selected. We 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. 

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