Tennessee Bill Would Require Student Athletes to Play Sports Under Sex Assigned at Birth

A representative in Tennessee, Republican Rep. Bruce Griffey, introduced a bill that would require student athletes to play sports on the team of the sex they were assigned at birth.

Tennessee House Bill 1572, also called the Girls Athletic Protection Act, would “ensure that student-athletes participate in school sanctioned sports based on the student’s biological sex as indicated on certificate issued at time of birth,” forbidding transgender students from playing sports on a team of their choice by mandating that athletes play sports based on their sex.

Administrators that attempt to side-step the legislation could face fines up to $10,000 for helping a transgender student to participate on a different team.

Griffey said the bill was necessary to protect female sex athletes, telling the Tennessee Star, “We are seeing more and more transgender athletes competing and posting victories in traditionally gendered sports competitions and doing so to the detriment of girls and women biologically born female.”

“Boys and men, due to testosterone levels, bigger bone structure, greater lung capacity, and larger heart size, have physical advantages in sports relative to girls and women.” Griffey added.

The bill has support from other Tennessee Republicans including the State House Speaker, Cameron Sexton. Sexton told local Fox 13 News in Tennessee, “Yeah, I think it’s an appropriate bill. I think saying you play based on your birth certificate is a good thing. I think it’s a relatively new issue. I think 20 years ago or 30 years ago when I was in high school, it wasn’t an issue. And so it’s becoming a type of an issue. Rep. Griffey has filed the legislation, and I’m in support of it.”

Griffey said the bill does not target transgender students that want to play sports but protects female student athletes, “I don’t know that it’s a huge problem in Tennessee right now, but I want to be proactive, so we don’t have a bunch of controversy down the road.”