Oklahoma lawmakers have a history of creating solutions looking for a problem. Have they ever found a problem more quickly than this?
The NCAA – which as most of us here should be well aware, governs most of Oklahoma State’s athletic ventures as well as most other large universities – released a statement Monday warning that states that pass bills barring transgender athletes could be barred from hosting NCAA championships.
That would be a major problem for Oklahoma State, Oklahoma and Stillwater. In case you weren’t aware, we get to host those things sometimes, and it’s a huge deal when it happens. It’s also big business.
Senate Bill 2 passed out of House Committee on April 8, known as the Save Women’s Sports Act. Were women’s sports in jeopardy? No. But our shot at hosting championships could be if this is allowed to continue.
“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,” the NCAA statement reads. “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.”
That doesn’t read like an idle threat.
We know better than most that the NCAA will overexert influence to make examples out of institutions.
Oklahoma lawmakers should realize they won’t lose their conservative credentials by killing this bill, because it was never necessary, and was created specifically to appeal to people who have issues with transgender people.
Transgender girls are not dominating Oklahoma high school girls sports. There aren’t boys out there pretending to be girls just to win at sports.
That isn’t a thing a that’s happening.
Senate Bill 2 went looking for a problem and became one.