Collegiate soccer player off the bench in battle to protect women's sports

Collegiate soccer player off the bench in battle to protect women's sports

Collegiate soccer player off the bench in battle to protect women's sports

A federal district court has issued an order allowing a college athlete to intervene to defend her state's Save Women's Sports Act.

Lainey Armistead (pictured) is a junior soccer athlete at West Virginia State University (WVSU) where she serves as team captain and plays a defensive position. Soccer, she says, has been one of her passions from the time she was small. Armistead is represented in her case by attorney Christiana Holcomb with Alliance Defending Freedom.

"Her dad was a soccer coach. Her brothers played. So, it's really been a sport that has defined her life and has helped her to pay for college, as she currently is on scholarship at WVSU," Holcomb tells American Family News.

In various parts of the country, biological males are wanting to compete in female sports. While the males say they identify as females, various people and groups – politicians and special interest groups, for example – argue that it's unfair for biological females to have to compete against the males.

West Virginia is one of several states trying to bar biological males from competing in female sports, the argument being that it's unfair to female athletes as well as a violation of their Title IX rights.

Holcomb, Christiana (ADF) Holcomb

"We're aware of at least one biological male athlete in West Virginia who is currently demanding access to female sports teams," says Holcomb. "We've seen this pop up in the states of Connecticut, Idaho, Hawaii, Florida, the list goes on – and even just this past weekend, we were hearing reports out of the University of Pennsylvania about a male swimmer who was crushing women's swimming records."

Based on this, the attorney says it really was incumbent upon the state of West Virginia to be proactive and take action to protect women's sports so that girls don't line up at the starting line – or, in Armistead's case, showing up to a soccer match – wondering if they will be competing against someone who is physically bigger, faster, and stronger.

The attorney also addresses the argument that permitting biological males to compete against biological females is about inclusivity and fairness.

"There is nothing inclusive or fair about destroying fairness for female athletes," Holcomb counters. "The whole reason we have women's sports as a separate category is because we recognize that there are inherent physical differences that come with being biologically male over biologically female.

"That's why Title IX nearly 50 years ago was passed to protect women's sports, to provide girls like Lainey with equal athletic opportunities – so we really do commend lawmakers in West Virginia for taking that public stand, and we are excited to be able to help come alongside the state to defend fairness in women's sports for West Virginia."

The text of West Virginia's Save Women's Sports Act (HB 3293) can be read here.

Image of Lainey Armistead compliments of Alliance Defending Freedom