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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) revealed Tuesday exactly where the NCAA and “woke corporations” can shove their money and events if they don’t like Florida’s effort to protect girl’s sports from transgender athletes.
What is the background?
On Tuesday, DeSantis signed into law the “Fairness in Women’s Sports Act,” which prohibits biological males who identify as transgender females from competing on female sports teams, both in high school and at the collegiate level.
The purpose of the law, according to DeSantis, is to protect the integrity of women’s sports.
“The bill that we’re doing today will ensure fairness for women athletes for years to come in the state of Florida,” DeSantis said. “It says that athletic teams or sports that are designated for females are open to females. And we’re going to go based off biology.”
How did DeSantis respond to corporate pressure?
Speaking with Fox News host Tucker Carlson, DeSantis said he called the bluff of organizations like the NCAA.
The NCAA, the sanctioning body for most collegiate athletics, threatened to withdraw events from states that pass laws preventing biological males who identify as transgender females from competing in women’s organized sports.
Recalling his response to the NCAA’s threats, DeSantis made it clear the pressure would not work. “To hell with these events,” DeSantis said.
“I remember the NCAA put out a statement saying any state that enacts this, we’re not going to hold events there. So I called the speaker of the House in Florida and I said, ‘Did you hear what they said?’ And he’s like, ‘Yeah.’ I said, ‘We definitely got to get this done.’ You can’t be cowed by these organizations, or particularly by woke corporations, from doing the right thing,” DeSantis explained.
The Republican governor said protecting women’s athletics is worth the cost of losing NCAA events.
“We have to protect our girls. It is discriminatory to force them to compete against biological males,” DeSantis said. “If the price of having a tournament is that I have to deny equal opportunity to hundreds of thousands of young girl and women athletes throughout Florida, I am much more willing to stand with the girls. And to hell with these events.”
“If corporations want to come in and try to bully us around, they are going to go nowhere. It’s going to be like hitting their head against a brick wall,” he added.
What has the NCAA said?
The NCAA has not yet responded to Florida’s new law or DeSantis’ remarks.
However, as the New York Times noted, the NCAA’s statement in April failed to explicitly pledge to pull events from states that enact laws not favorable to LGBT activists, suggesting the NCAA’s woke appeasement is all bark and no bite.
In fact, the NCAA’s failure to act has enraged LGBT advocacy groups, like the Human Rights Campaign.
HRC president Alphonso David said recently:
The NCAA should be ashamed of themselves for violating their own policy by choosing to hold championships in states that are not healthy, safe, or free from discrimination for their athletes. It also undermines their commitment to transgender participation in NCAA events, for which they have had an inclusive policy for years. While we have remained hopeful about the NCAA stepping up to the plate and taking action like they have done in the past, they are willfully ignoring that commitment this time, despite repeated attempts by the Human Rights Campaign and others to communicate the harsh and harmful negative impacts of this legislation, which is not just pending but enacted into law in seven states, with South Dakota also creating two Executive Orders to similar discriminatory affect. Their words will not stop discrimination, only actions to deliver real consequences to states that dare to discriminate. The NCAA must face scrutiny and public pressure to do the right thing.
Indeed, the NCAA even recently selected the University of Florida, located in Gainesville, as host of a regional tournament for NCAA baseball.