Washington D.C., Sep 10, 2021 / 17:00 pm (CNA).
A West Virginia college soccer player says that allowing only biological females to play women’s sports is a “women’s rights issue.”
“I believe that protecting fairness in women’s sports is a women’s rights issue,” said Lainey Armistead, a junior NCAA Division II soccer player at West Virginia State University, on Friday.
Armistead, represented by attorneys from the group Alliance Defending Freedom, on Friday filed a motion in federal court to intervene in a case regarding West Virginia’s Save Women’s Sports Act. The law restricts participation in women’s sports to only biological females.
“This isn’t just about fair play for me: It’s about protecting fairness and safety for female athletes across West Virginia,” Armistead stated. “It’s about ensuring that future generations of female athletes are not discriminated against but have access to the same equal athletic opportunities that shaped my life.”
Represented by the group Alliance Defending Freedom, Armistead on Friday filed a motion to intervene in a case regarding West Virginia’s Save Women’s Sports Act, B.P.J. v. West Virginia State Board of Education.
West Virginia’s law is one of a number of state laws nationwide meant to protect women’s sports. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) sued when the law was enacted earlier this year, and a federal court placed an injunction on the law while it is considered in court.
“As one who grew up in a house full of brothers who played soccer, and a dad who coached soccer, Lainey is well-acquainted with the physical differences that give males an athletic performance advantage,” said Alliance Defending Freedom legal counsel Christiana Holcomb.
“Not only that, but soccer is a rough contact sport: concussion, knee, and ankle injuries are common among female players. Add into the mix a male who races down the field at a faster pace, kicks the ball harder, and slams into other players with a larger physical frame, and the risk of injury to girls and women increases dramatically,” Holcomb said.
“She fears that too many women feel pressured to keep their real views silent, and she fears that girls might consider not playing sports at all if they feel they cannot win against a physically superior male,” the motion states.
Alliance Defending Freedom also represents female athletes in Idaho who are defending the state’s Fairness in Women’s Sports Act.
The group has also represented several female sprinters in Connecticut who challenged the state’s policy of allowing athletes to compete in sports based on their gender identity. Beginning in 2017, two males identifying as transgender females ultimately won 15 state track championships, and one of them set ten state records previously held by ten different girls.
While the U.S. Department of Education under President Trump found that the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference’s policy violated Title IX, the agency under President Biden withdrew that finding.
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