Ford co-sponsoring bill proposing to ban transgender females from playing women’s sports

Published 12:05 am Sunday, April 9, 2023

RALEIGH — On Wednesday, 30 Republican legislators in the North Carolina Senate filed the “Fairness in Women’s Sports Act,” a bill that would prohibit transgender females from playing on high school women’s sports teams.

Under Senate Bill 631, high school athletes will be required to play on sports teams of their biological sex or on a designated coed team. Proponents of the bill say allowing transgender females to play women’s sports is in violation of Title IX, which “serves to ensure that all students have equal opportunity to enjoy the benefits of team sports participation.”


“Boys don’t need to be competing against girls,” said Sen. Carl Ford, a co-sponsor of the bill, in a phone interview on Thursday. Ford represents Rowan and Stanly counties. 

Ford brought up an incident that occurred in Cherokee County in October when a transgender female volleyball player spiked and hit a biological female player in the head with a ball, resulting in head and neck injuries, including a concussion and vision troubles.

“When I heard that I went, ‘Wow, we’ve got to put a stop to this before it gets out of hand,’ ” Ford said. “Now they’re telling us ‘well there’s only 15 of these athletes competing in the state.’ Well that’s 15 too many.”

When asked what he thinks is an appropriate solution for transgender athletes to compete in high school sports, Ford said, “That’s a good question that I don’t know the answer to, but I know biological males shouldn’t be competing against girls. Period.”

He also mentioned that former women’s basketball coach at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Sylvia Hatchell, spoke in favor of the bill at a news conference at the General Assembly on Thursday morning.

“Females having to compete against transgenders is not fair and equal. Is there a place for transgenders in sports? Yes, there is. But it’s a separate category,” Hatchell said during the news conference.

If the bill is passed, North Carolina would join at least 16 other states in having legislation requiring transgender athletes to play on sports teams of their biological sex. Kansas lawmakers overrode Democrat Gov. Laura Kelly’s veto of the same bill earlier this week, and the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that while a lawsuit over a state ban continues, a 12-year-old transgender girl in West Virginia could continue competing on her middle school’s girls sports teams.

In response, the Biden administration announced Thursday a proposal that would forbid schools and colleges across the U.S. from enacting outright bans on transgender athletes, according to the Associated Press.