Sen. Ted Cruz questioned the president of the NCAA on Wednesday on the organization’s threat to pull competitions out of states that do not allow males to participate in women’s sports.
“It used to not be controversial to observe that there are biological differences between boys and girls,” Cruz said during a Senate committee hearing.
“And when it comes to athletics, there are, can be significant physical advantages for those who are born biologically male in terms of strength and size.”
The Texas Republican said he is concerned about “just how political the NCAA has gotten” on the question of men competing in women’s sports, quoting an NCAA statement from April in which the organization said it will only host championships in “an environment that is safe, healthy and free of discrimination.”
“That was a not remotely subtle threat for the NCAA to target and boycott any states where legislatures are acting to protect girls’ sports and women’s sports,” Cruz said.
Sen. Ted Cruz to NCAA President Mark Emmert: “It used to not be controversial to observe that there are biological differences between boys and girls…. There can be significant physical advantages for those who are born biologically male in terms of strength and size…” pic.twitter.com/UpTmCJIocr
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) June 9, 2021
Cruz noted that this is why “we have girls’ sports and boys’ sports and men’s sports and women’s sports in organized athletics.”
“Why does the NCAA think it is fair to girls or to women competing in sports to expect them to compete against individuals who were born biologically male?” he asked.
“Is the NCAA concerned about some of the results we’re seeing? For example, Connecticut high school track, where biological males are setting record after record after record in girls’ track and winning the championships?
“Is that fair to the girls and to the women who had been competing in the sports?” Cruz asked.
NCAA president Mark Emmert said the organization’s policy is that men may compete against women if they’ve been under the care of a doctor for at least a year and have lowered their testosterone levels to be “functionally equivalent [to] a woman.”
Emmert also said that in the case of the Connecticut athletes, he does not think the males who identify as female would have been permitted to compete in NCAA championships.
“We’re also monitoring very closely and indeed working with the [International Olympic Committee] … so that we can modify as need be our policies recognizing differences on a sport by sport basis,” he said.
“The IOC right now has instructed all the sport federations to look at extant research and other research that may need to be done to find out whether or not there can be fair competitions in individual sports because they utilize different muscle mass and strength skills.
“So we’ve been constantly trying to stay abreast of the science and make sure that we’re striking a balance where we don’t put women athletes at a disadvantage while still trying to provide an inclusive environment.”
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