SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — South Dakota has seen success in attracting big-time college sporting events. However, there is concern that a transgender athlete law could persuade the NCAA to move events to other states more in line with its policies of inclusiveness. South Dakota lawmakers appear to be willing to take that chance.
“I know it has been passed in 10 or 11 other states to this point and I don’t know that anything has been changed in those states, big state Florida, Texas, Alabama, Georgia is I think that’s where SEC football is and so I don’t know if changes have been made there, but I guess we will see what comes,” said State Representative Kent Peterson of Salem during a legislative press conference today.
South Dakota joins other states including Texas, Arkansas, Alabama, Florida, Idaho, West Virginia, Montana and Tennessee with either legislation or executive orders concerning bans and transgender athletes.
In Florida, like South Dakota, the ban has the full support of the governor. Here’s what Governor Ron DeSantis had to say about it.
“And I can tell you this, in Florida, girls are going to play girls’ sports and boys are going to play boys’ sports” Governor DeSantis said.
In Kansas, the Governor vetoed a transgender sports bill last year, also known as the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act. Governor Laura Kelly called it divisive and said it made the state unwelcoming for business.
The Sioux Falls Sports Authority which came out against the so-called bathroom bill in 2016 is staying quiet this time. But Director Thomas Lee sent KELOLAND News a statement saying they are following the issue in Pierre.
It ends by saying “our ultimate goal as an organization is to continue recruiting and hosting elite national events and championships that bring a significant economic impact to the city and state.”
Whether that significant economic impact will be hurt by this new law remains to be seen.
Governor Kristi Noem says she is not worried about the NCAA pulling events out of the state.
She says the NCAA has not left other states with similar transgender sports laws and she expects South Dakota to be treated fairly.