A fair chance


Lauren Lee

Due to a recent injury involving Peyton McNabb, a high school volleyball player, lawmakers have enforced the Fairness in Women’s Act. This act will ensure women’s safety and leave them with fewer concerns about their opponents. Controversy remains as athletes believe women will benefit from this bill and others believe the bill discriminates against trans-women.

Lauren Lee, News Editor

As America evolves politically, transgender people receive the opportunity to play sports with the gender they transitioned to. This opportunity has caused great controversy amongst athletes for the sake of their safety. Athletes—especially cisgendered athletes—believe the game becomes unfair when they play against a trans-woman with a biological advantage. Nonetheless, transgender women should not gain the opportunity to play sports with or against women.

Payton McNabb, a volleyball player at Hiwassee Dam High School, suffered long-term physical and mental injuries last fall when a transgender athlete spiked McNabb in the face. McNabb spoke out about her injuries Wednesday, April 12 during a press conference as she asked state legislators to pass the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act. McNabb said she did not play in her final season due to her injuries and played for her school’s softball team instead. While McNabb knows her athletic career approaches the end, she spoke out for a call to action in the future.u

“My ability to learn, retain, [and] comprehend has also been impaired, and I require accommodations at school for testing because of this…I’m here for every biological female athlete behind me. My little sister, my cousins, my teammates. Allowing biological males to compete against biological females is dangerous. I may be the first to come before you with an injury, but if this doesn’t pass I won’t be the last,” McNabb said.

For decades, women have not always received the rights that men receive in sports. Women came a long way in gaining rights and proving they can do anything men can do. While women appear as athletically able as men, a man’s physical structure puts them at a greater advantage. The Fairness in Women’s Sports Act will greatly ensure the safety of female players and appears as a beneficial bill.

People believe that allowing transgender athletes to participate in sports with the gender they transitioned to offers them the opportunity to express their athletic ability in a comfortable space. They believe the bill appears exclusive and discriminates against transgender people.

“I wouldn’t feel intimidated or uncomfortable. I would simply perform the way I would perform with a biological female. Afterall, most sports are a psychological approach, whose IQ in the sport is the highest usually comes in success. I think yes it is fair. Sports are a thing everyone can participate in. I think no state should pass any kind of bill in that way because if it starts with sports it would trickle down to other things,” junior Itoro Okpok said.

The physical differences between men and women contain scientific evidence  to differentiate the two. Dr. Gregory A. Brown has found that the innate physiological traits that biological men hold include greater muscle strength, stronger kicking, higher jumping, and faster running speeds which result in an advantage over female athletes. When analyzing the vertical jump in volleyball, one study found that on average, male players jumped 50% higher at the net than female players. Moreover, with this act in place, female players will hold an equal chance of displaying their athletic abilities without a concern of their safety.