Women Sue The NCAA, Saying Transgender Rules Discriminate Against Them

Source: Reka Gyorgy / Shutterstock / Independent Women’s Forum

It’s been almost two years, but the look of disappointment on Reka Gyorgy’s face is still engraved in our memory. Gyorgy, who’s from Hungary, was in her last swimming year at Virginia Tech, and this competition was her final one. 

At the 2022 NCAA championships, she aimed to reach the final round in the 500-yard freestyle event. Unfortunately, she missed making it by just one spot, which was taken by Lia Thomas, a swimmer from the University of Pennsylvania.

Thomas Ruins Gyorgy’s Last Ride

Lia Thomas, who is transgender and used to swim on the men’s team at Penn, ended up winning the championship in that event. 

Source: X/HokiesSwimDive

She became the first transgender swimmer to earn a Division 1 title. For Gyorgy, it was really tough to see her collegiate swim career end like that. She thought it wasn’t fair.

Gyorgy Sends A Letter To The NCAA

“I was shocked,” she said. “All the feelings went through me that this was my last competition before I stopped swimming. It was the end of my career, and knowing that because of Thomas in the field, I wouldn’t be able to have a second chance to perform again. It’s really upsetting.”

Source: X/AndrewSaysTV

Gyorgy expressed her frustration by writing a letter to the NCAA shortly after, asking them to change their rules. Sadly, she never received a response.

Lawsuit Against NCAA Transgender Rules

Gyorgy is determined to see change, and she’s not alone. Along with 15 other female athletes, she recently filed a lawsuit against the NCAA. They argue that the NCAA’s rules for transgender athletes go against Title IX, which bans discrimination based on sex, and the 14th Amendment.

Source: Roanoke

The lawsuit, led by the Independent Council on Women’s Sports, could have a big impact because the NCAA sets the rules for its 1,100 member colleges and universities. The lawsuit also named Georgia Tech University, University of Georgia, University of North Georgia, and members of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia as defendants.

Plaintiffs NCAA Needs Immediate Reforms

“I think the NCAA has demonstrated that it’s lost sight of its reason for being, and it either needs to reform immediately or it needs to get out of the business of regulating college athletics,” Bill Bock, attorney for the plaintiffs said.

Source: X/Gyorgy_Official

Other plaintiffs in the case include Riley Gaines, Kylee Alons, Kaitlynn Wheeler, Eddie Eades, Lily Mullens, Kate Pearson, Susan Price, Carter Satterfield, Katie Blankinship, Katie Blankinship, Ainsley Erzen and a few unnamed athletes. The name leading the lawsuit has become familiar since the 2022 championship that Thomas dominated: Riley Gaines. 

Competing Against Thomas Unfair

As a swimmer for the University of Kentucky, Gaines faced Thomas in 2022, and they ended up tying in one event.

Source: AP/Josh Reynolds

Gaines found it unfair that she and other swimmers had to compete against Thomas, who had obvious size and strength advantages.

NCAA Should Be Held Responsible

Since then, Gaines has become really popular on social media (almost a million followers on X, previously Twitter) and travels around the country talking about women’s sports rights. She also hosts a podcast for OutKick about the same topic.

Source: AP Photo/Darren Abate

Like Gyorgy, Gaines feels the NCAA should be responsible.” She was tired of waiting for someone else to do something. “Why not me?” Gaines said in an interview.

Federal Lawsuit Calls For Rule Changes In NCAA

The lawsuit demands that the NCAA make changes to its rules to stop those assigned male at birth from competing against female athletes.

Source: X/michaelrulli

It also requests the NCAA to “reassign and revise” awards given to transgender athletes in women’s events to the female competitors.

Legal Action Seeks Compensation And Alleges Violations

The lawsuit asks for payment for “pain and suffering, mental and emotional distress, suffering and anxiety, expenses costs and other damages” because of the defendants’ “wrongful conduct.” 

Source: X/IWF

And it says more. It also says that besides the unfairness in competitions under Title IX, the NCAA broke the plaintiffs’ rights under the 14th Amendment by “authorizing naked men possessing full male genitalia to disrobe in front of non-consenting college women.”

Plaintiffs Share Their Experiences With Thomas

Many plaintiffs had that experience with Thomas and were blindsided by it. While the bulk of the lawsuit focuses on Thomas, it’s not just about past problems. It’s also about making sure current and future athletes are protected.

Source: X/Theo_TJ_Jordan

That’s why Ainsley Erzen, a sophomore at the University of Arkansas and a member of both the soccer and track and field teams, wanted to join as a plaintiff.

Taking A Proactive Approach

Though Erzen has yet to compete against a transgender athlete, she doesn’t want to wait until it happens to her or her teammates.

Source: X/AinsleyErzen

“I think it’s definitely something that I want to get ahead of,” Erzen said. “I don’t think you should have to be personally harmed before you’re justified in speaking out.” 

Lawsuit Takes Centre Stage Amidst Policy Changes

The NCAA lawsuit happens at the same time as the Biden administration is getting ready to change the Title IX rules. These changes might include considering gender identity in the law, which would change things a lot.

Source: X/AdvocatesTweets

At the same time, the administration is thinking about new rules for who can play on sports teams, which is a big deal in the NCAA lawsuit. “It’s the most anti-woman thing we have seen this administration do,” Gaines said. “It goes against everything this lawsuit is fighting for.”

Preparing For Legal Action Against Title IX Rewrite

As Biden’s updated Title IX rules face delays, groups are poised to file lawsuits before its release. Meanwhile, NCAA plaintiffs are actively voicing their concerns.

Source: X/gagahi_com

Gyorgy stressed the need for immediate action, saying, “If we don’t do something about it right now, nobody’s going to, and they just keep discriminating against female athletes.”

NCAA’s Reaction To Lawsuit; Says It Will Maintain ‘Fair Competition’

The NCAA has responded to the lawsuit, saying it will maintain “fair competition” in its championships without providing additional information.

Source: X/NCAA

“College sports are the premier stage for women’s sports in America, and while the NCAA does not comment on pending litigation, the Association and its members will continue to promote Title IX, make unprecedented investments in women’s sports, and ensure fair competition in all NCAA championships,” it stated.

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Mary Scrantin

Written by Mary Scrantin

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