Last updated on April 22nd, 2021 at 12:18 pm
Late last week, Alabama became the latest in a series of states to move legislation that would bar student athletes from participating in non-coed sporting competitions based on their “gender identities” rather than their biological sex. The bill—H.B. 391—has passed Alabama’s House in late March with a vote of 74-19; on April 15th, the Senate approved the legislation 25-2. It now awaits the signature of Republican Governor Kay Ivey before becoming law.
Lawmakers in Alabama and elsewhere would be naïve, however, were they to think the passage of such legislation will be the end of the fight to protect girls’ and women’s sports. Apart from the inevitable litigation that will be levied against such bills, there will also be consequences from corporate America, as elites in the business world seek to pander to “woke” sensibilities.
This is the subject of an opinion piece yesterday at AL.com by conservative Christian writer Dana Hall McCain: “Spare Alabama the lecture, NCAA.” She refers to the widely publicized statement from the NCAA Board of Governors stating that the organization “firmly and unequivocally supports… transgender student-athletes” and that when choosing sites for championships the NCAA would be taking into consideration whether the site is “free from discrimination.”
In response, McCain writes:
There are some of us still Title IX-minded enough to think that girls deserve a chance to compete on a level playing field and that women’s sports matter. The desire to protect the integrity of competition for women while our culture races with break-neck speed toward institutional change concerning gender norms is not about hate. It’s about slowing down and thinking long and hard about fairness for all parties.
And then the NCAA had the gall to show up and lecture states like Alabama about discrimination.
The body issued a statement responding to our bill and similar legislation in other states, stating that it would only hold championships in states “free of discrimination.”
McCain continues by pointing out how, even as things stand apart from the issue of “trans-women” competing against girls in their own divisions, the NCAA has far from a gleaming record in showing respect to women’s sports alongside men’s, quoting a criticism from Georgia Tech’s women’s basketball coach about how the NCAA’s women’s tournament suffered from unequal access (compared to “March Madness”) to everything from “coronavirus testing, to lack of weight training facilities, to game floors that hardly tell anyone that it’s the NCAA Tournament.”
McCain’s criticisms are unlikely to sway the NCAA, however; because, just like with a sports team, the NCAA has a robust gang of cheerleaders intended to drown out any boos or negative reactions from the bleachers. Witness, for example, the (grossly mis-named) Human Rights Campaign (HRC). The group’s President, Alphonso David, penned a piece yesterday that makes it clear that the highly influential and well-bankrolled organization not only will have the NCAA’s back, but that they’d like to recruit other power corporate agents to the cause of advancing a radically progressive agenda as well.
In his piece, which takes the form of an open letter to the “leaders of Corporate America,” David writes: “[W]e need those in positions of power at the largest businesses in the country to rise up against injustice and discrimination…”
Acknowledging how many companies have voiced support for the Equality Act, David advises that “they should not ignore the responsibility to take action against anti-equality bills at the state level…. We ask corporations to go far beyond internal corporate policies or a freshly worded press release and involve all the levers of power that businesses have today [emphasis added.”
David’s intent could not be clearer: he wants Corporate America not only to use its outsized access to “the bully pulpit” (which dwarfs the influence even of most politicians today), but to use any means of economic pressure and penalty they can to try to undermine the duly-enacted democratic decisions of Americans’ elected leaders in their home states.
The left, which traditionally criticized the role big-money corporate lobbying has in influencing public policy, and championed grassroots activism and democracy, has now swung to the polar opposite extreme. Unfortunately, their new tactics are remarkably effective. Alabama’s lawmakers and citizens, as well as those in other states who have stood up for girls and women against transgender bullying, need to be prepared for the onslaught: the elites are coming, and they want your daughters to lose.