GOP senator to unveil findings on female athlete 'helplessness' in transgender sports fight


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FIRST ON FOX: A report detailing the “helplessness” felt by female students due to biological males, or transgender women, participating with their female sports teams was to be released Thursday after a congressional investigation into proposed Title IX changes by the Biden administration.

Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., the ranking member on the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP), is expected to release the findings of the committee staff’s investigation into the proposed changes and their effect on female sports in a letter to his committee colleagues. The investigation included interviews with dozens of people, including female athletes and coaches, parents, industry experts, doctors and representatives from higher-education institutions, Cassidy said.

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Protest to save womens sports

Demonstrators cheer during the speaking program at the “Our Bodies, Our Sports” rally for the 50th anniversary of Title IX at Freedom Plaza on June 23, 2022 in Washington, DC. The rally, organized by multiple athletic womens groups was held to call on U.S. President Joe Biden to put restrictions on transgender females and “advocate to keep womens sports female.” (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Title IX is designed to prevent sex-based discrimination in education and related activities that are recipients of federal money.

Last year, President Biden’s administration proposed a rule that would expand Title IX to include gender identity along with biological sex. The term “gender identity” is used to describe by which gender an individual chooses to identify. 

“They feel helpless,” Cassidy told Fox News Digital in an interview on Wednesday, describing the feelings he heard from female athletes.

“This is kind of a theme that we got: ‘Why am I even trying? I don’t have any hope whatsoever,'” he said.

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The HELP committee report details the story of a woman at Roanoke College in Salem, Virginia, who described her motivational decline following the addition of a transgender woman, who was biologically male, to her swim team.

“It felt unfair and demotivating … to even want to try [or] to want to swim better,” the unnamed female athlete is quoted as saying.

Sixteen of 17 female swimmers on the team ultimately penned a letter to the athletic director in which they relayed “feeling manipulated and scared.”

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“Our lives have been consumed by this issue. We cannot think about our classes as we sit in lectures, we cannot enjoy our practices,” the women wrote.

Cassidy during a hearing

Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., speaks during a confirmation hearing for Secretary of Veterans Affairs nominee Denis McDonough. (Sarah Silbiger/Pool via AP)

The report summarizes the similar testimony of a female cyclist at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado: “I’ve wondered what’s the point in even racing,” she is quoted as saying.

Two members of the women’s swim team at the University of Pennsylvania, which became a headline-generating subject during transgender swimmer Lia Thomas’s domination in the sport, recalled feeling that their school was prioritizing Thomas over them.

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“Our voices as women were completely silenced,” they said. “If we wanted privacy and safety and equality, then we were bigots. This has roots in misogyny, and allowing this to go on is misogynistic.”

“This is not bigotry,” Cassidy said, noting that those interviewed for the investigation did not have anything against transgender individuals.

Roanoke College swim team

Members of the Roanoke College women’s swim team attend a press conference. (OutKick)

“These people we interviewed stressed they’ve got nothing against transgenders as a group,” he said.

Riley Gaines, a former NCAA champion swimmer at the University of Kentucky, told the committee that female competitors were never warned about having to share their locker room with biological males, with male anatomy, at the 2022 NCAA Championship. When she realized that was the case, Gaines said she “experienced feelings of betrayal.” When she questioned the policy, she said the attitudes of officials were “if women feel uncomfortable with this, they should feel apologetic” and that they are ultimately those who should seek counseling to overcome it.

Since experiencing this, Gaines, an OutKick contributor and host for “Gaines for Girls,” has become an advocate for protecting women’s sports.

Riley Gaines and Lia Thomas

Riley Gaines, right, now a spokesperson for the Independent Women’s Forum, famously tied transgender swimmer Lia Thomas, left, for fifth place in the 200 freestyle finals at the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships in 2022. (Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports)

According to Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, the proposed Title IX rule change was because “Every student should be able to have the full experience of attending school in America, including participating in athletics, free from discrimination.” 

“Being on a sports team is an important part of the school experience for students of all ages,” he said at the time of the rule’s announcement. 

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But Cassidy pushed back on this, saying this rule is “the death of Title IX.”

“I find it ironic the Biden administration talks about the mental health of the transgender individuals as a reason why they’re pushing those,” he said.

“They’re totally ignoring the mental health and the feelings of fairness of the women who are competing,” the senator said. 

Cassidy said that, alternatively, “We are trying to actually uphold the original intent of Title IX” by ensuring women are given a fair shot in relation to men.

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On Wednesday, Cassidy and fellow HELP member Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., penned letters to the NCAA and Cardona to inquire about the policies on transgender participation and their enforcement as well as official communications on the controversial subject.

Neither the Department of Education nor the NCAA provided comments when contacted by Fox News Digital.



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