The topic of biological males in girls' and women's sports is an issue that has generated a lot of conversation around the country. However, one person who isn't talking about it is NCAA president Charlie Baker.
Earlier this month, Baker refused to meet with a group of current and former NCAA athletes, including women's sports advocate Riley Gaines, a former University of Kentucky swimmer; and Macy Petty (pictured above), a Division II women's volleyball player. The group sought to approach Baker at the NCAA's convention in Phoenix.
Baker, a former two-term Massachusetts governor, kicked off the four-day event with his "State of College Sports" address, a speech that praised increased mental health support for student-athletes. But as noted by Petty, he stopped short of discussing with concerned current and former athletes the impact of gender dysphoria on women's sports.
"I walked in with a letter signed by the entire coalition, several former and current coaches and athletes and Olympians. I just simply said, 'I want to put this in Charlie Baker's hands or Dr. Linda Livingstone [the Baylor president],'" Petty explained on Washington Watch Friday.
Livingstone chairs the NCAA's Board of Governors. Gaines authored the letter which was read by Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-Arizona) at a congressional hearing last week that included Baker.
Gaines group stiffed at NCAA convention
Neither Baker nor Livingstone met with the group in Phoenix. Petty was told, "They don't have time," though she told show host Jody Hice she was able to have a brief interaction with Livingstone.
"I put [the letter] in her hands, and I told her that I would appreciate her considering all female athletes and that I looked forward to her response," Petty shared.
"She couldn't even look me in the eye because if she did, she would be looking at the female athletes that her harmful policies are affecting. She would have to come face to face with those convictions, and she couldn't even look me in the eye. I think that's very telling of the entire NCAA."
Petty: Baker needs to 'see our eyes, hear our stories'
Petty contends Baker and other NCAA officials are avoiding the topic because their response to it is "indefensible." Lesko pressed Baker on the topic, telling him that Gaines was disappointed she did not get a response from him to a letter she sent in January 2023.
Baker, according to a Fox News report, responded by talking about how busy he's been in his first year in office but did commit to a future meeting with the group.
"Well, my first year, my primary objective was to do something nobody had ever done before in my job, which was to meet with all 97 conferences to get a sense about what the key issues and opportunities associated with college sports were. And I spent dozens of hours with student-athletes," Baker said before adding: "If folks want to have an open conversation about issues associated with college sports and with sports generally, we'll figure out how to make that happen."
Petty said that's the only way their message will get across. "I want them to have to come face to face with the female athletes who their policies hurt," she said. "I want him to see our eyes and hear our stories about the destruction that is happening in women's sports."