Former Tar Heel women’s basketball coach renews opposition to sports participation by transgender females

Former UNC-Chapel Hill women’s basketball coach Sylvia Hatcher on Tuesday reiterated her endorsement of a controversial Republican-backed bill that would prevent transgender athletes from participating in women’s and women’s sports.

Hatcher, who also testified on the issue at a House committee hearing in April, noted that she awarded 300 to 400 female athletes college basketball scholarships during her 33 years of coaching, and said transgender athletes would go from Where cisgender women get college scholarships.

“It’s simple because they are [transgender girls and women] It’s going to get better,” Hatcher said.

Hatcher made the remarks during a meeting of the state Senate Education/Higher Education Committee House Bill 574, the Women’s Sports Fairness Act was debated. The bill won a yes vote and was reintroduced to the Senate Rules Committee.

HB 574 and its companion Senate Bill 631 would prevent transgender girls and women from participating in middle and high school sports, as well as varsity sports.

College coaches worried about keeping their jobs will be forced to recruit transgender women to compete with schools that award them scholarships or allow them to compete with cisgender women, Hatcher said.

“If you want to win and the other team has a trans guy and that guy is ruling, what do you do?” asked Hatcher. “You want to keep your job – you’re going to recruit a transgender person.”

Hatcher coached the Tar Heels from 1986-2019. She resigned in 2019 after an investigation found she had made racially insensitive remarks and pressured players to play while injured.

Senator Natasha Marcus

Both HB 574 and SB 631 have been heavily criticized by Democratic lawmakers and civil rights and equality advocates who argue that denying transgender athletes the right to compete will harm them mentally and physically and deprive them of many of the benefits that participation in sports brings. benefit.

Critics also argue that there are relatively few transgender female athletes.

“In many cases, we’re talking about a middle school student who’s probably on puberty blockers, living as a girl, using female names and pronouns, and just wants to play on her middle school team,” Sen. said Tasha Marcus, a Mecklenburg County Democrat. “This is targeting her in a mean and unfair way and will do her a disservice in a way that makes me feel very sad for our state.”

The legislation has strong support from religious rights groups. John Rustin, chairman of the conservative North Carolina Family Policy Council, said cisgender female athletes should compete on a level playing field.

“To pretend there are no biological or physiological differences between boys and girls is to ignore science, biology, and facts,” Rustin said.

The NC High School Athletic Association allows transgender athletes to play sports after a lengthy eligibility process. Since the policy was passed in 2019, trans athletes have made 17 requests. Sixteen of these requests were granted.

An amendment to the bill during the session made it clear that it does not prohibit cisgender or transgender women and girls from participating in boys’ or men’s sports teams. Explaining the distinction, Republican Senator Kervin Corbin, a committee member and supporter of the bill, said: “In discussing this issue with coaches and teams, we find many instances, such as women playing on soccer teams, that we don’t want Restricts women from participating in sports like this. The second thing it does is, it eliminates the application of the act to intramural sports at the collegiate level. I think we all understand that intramural sports are more of a recreational sport.”

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