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“It was at this point, I realized that we as female athletes were being sidelined to men and reduced to a photo op, which of course makes a mockery of everything that I’ve dedicated my life to,” said Riley Gaines, an Independent Women’s Forum spokesperson and former 12-time All-American swimmer who competed against Lia Thomas in the 2022 NCAA Freestyle Championship. She was told that the “NCAA hadn’t planned for a tie and that Thomas had to have the trophy for photo purposes.”

To discuss the discriminatory treatment that the women have faced as athletes and to recognize National Girls and Women in Sports Day, Speaker McCarthy and Members of the House GOP invited female athletes from around the country to share their stories.

What they heard: Gaines’ story is definitely not unique.

The Members heard from Macy Petty, a volleyball player who went up against a biological male. Petty explained to the Members that in volleyball the men’s nets are seven inches higher and that “they’re separated for a reason – that reason has nothing to do with ideology or identity but by biology and how we’re designed and how we’re created and how that’s reflected in our sports.”

Chloe Satterfield, a current student at Georgia Tech, explained how important enforcing Title IX’s anti-sex discrimination laws were to keeping an equal playing field in tennis, saying that “this is not about hatred, or trying to stop them from doing something they love, but protecting our rights as biological women and making sure that we still have the opportunity to pursue our passions.”

Margo Knorr, a former North Dakota State University track athlete, shared how the girls are standing up for each other and standing up for future girls in sports by pushing legislation to ensure biological girls are only playing against biological girls, stating that “we’re working hard again this session in North Dakota to make sure that we get something across [the] table… so that girls don’t have to go through what you girls have gone through.”

House Republicans have a plan too. Rep. Greg Steube’s (FL-17) “The Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act” would codify the protections that women have been able to count on for generations, ensuring that biological girls will have an equal playing field through future generations.

In their Commitment to America, the House GOP made it clear that they would not stand for discrimination against girls and women in sports. Rep. Steube’s legislation is an important first step to making that happen.