The Michigan High School Athletic Association told the Detroit Free Press that there is no need for the Republican-led effort to ban transgender students from interscholastic sports.
- In the past five years, there have only been 10 transgender athletes enrolled in the state.
- There are more than 180,000 athletes statewide who participate yearly.
- The MHSAA has procedures in place and hasn’t had a student violation to date.
- Given the tiny numbers of trans athletes and the lack of impact, they have had on championships their bills are unnecessary.
There’s no need for a proposed state law that would prevent transgender high school athletes from playing on the sport that aligns with the student’s gender identity, the state high school athletic association recently said.
That’s because the Michigan High School Athletic Association already has a policy for transgender athletes that a spokesman says works, and because the broad nature of the recently filed bill may prevent girls across the state from participating in sports.
Sen. Jim Runestad, a White Lake Republican who co-sponsored the measure, was unable to identify a Michigan example but said he supports the bill “philosophically.”
“By the time we get some data somewhere down the road, there could be a lot of girls who’ve lost a lifetime opportunity,” Runestad told Bridge Michigan.
MHSAA allows girls to play on boys’ teams, according to a policy in place since 2012. If a transgender female student wants to participate on a girls team, MHSAA requires documentation indicating the student’s listed gender on school or medical forms and whether the student has or is taking hormones or undergone surgery. The association reviews those records on a case-by-case basis.
Republicans included both genders in the bill due to the discriminatory nature of the legislature.
In 2017 Mac Beggs, a transgender boy won a Texas girls championships when he was forced to wrestle girls in his junior year. Beggs wrestled boys in intermural competition in the summer but when he returned to interscholastic competition the following year he was again forced to wrestle girls. This is when Beggs won another championship and a scholarship.
More recently in 2020, Heaven Fitch, a cisgender girl dominated the North Carolina State wrestling Championships. She would have prevented from that had a ban like Michigan’s been in effect.