Governor Noem forms coalition called ‘Defend Title IX Now’

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Governor Kristi Noem says Title IX is in jeopardy, so she is starting a national coalition to protect women’s sports. It is called “Defend Title IX Now.”

The coalition is built on three pillars, only girls should play girl’s sports, the federal government is misusing Title IX, and the NCAA and other government bodies should not punish states or schools that protect fairness for women.

The list of speakers at Monday’s event included several high school and college athletes and two former professional athletes who joined via video chat. Former NFL players Jack brewer and Herschel Walker voiced their support for the group.

Noem says men and women are physically different and this coalition is formed around girls playing girl’s sports.

“It is specifically about protecting Title IX and about women playing women’s sports, it is not about transgender. There is nothing in this coalition or in this discussion today that has to do with that issue,” said Noem.

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits sex discrimination in any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance

This doesn’t seem to be an issue in South Dakota at the moment, so I asked the governor why she is making this a priority.

“Well it is an existent issue in South Dakota because a lot of people are talking about it and are concerned about it and they see the trends that are happening across the country,” said Noem. “And that we could in the near future could have a situation where we are dealing with it on the daily bases in South Dakota. So what I’ve proposed to the legislature, hopefully, they will consider, that they will protect women’s sports in the K-12 system and that we will continue to build this coalition so we can protect them at the collegiate level as well.”

Noem also denied the coalition was being formed for any political reasons. She insists Title IX is being jeopardized.

“It’s being threatened by some of the conversations that are happening at the national level, different policies that are happening, part of the decision making policy that happens at the NCAA on where tournaments go, how it’s determined, their inclusivity policies, how vague they are and how they’ve been used in the past,” said Noem.

In 2016, NCAA disqualified North Carolina from hosting championship events after the state passed a transgender bathroom law. Noem says she hopes to get enough support and enough states to take on the NCAA and stop them from punishing states that don’t conform to their liking.

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