TN Gov. Lee: ‘Transgender Athletes Will Destroy Women’s Sports’

By Emma Riley | February 12, 2021 | 11:06am EST
Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee (R).
Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee (R).

(CNS News) -- Tennessee Republican Gov. Bill Lee told reporters on Wednesday that “transgender athletes will destroy women’s sports” and that he wants to ban them from playing middle school and high school sports.

“Transgenders participating in women's sports will destroy women's sports,” he said. “It will ruin the opportunity for girls to earn scholarships. It will put a glass ceiling back over women that hasn’t been there in some time. I think it’s bad for women and for women’s sports.”

Transgender “women” are actually biological males who claim to identify as females.

The governor’s comments follow a Tennessee bill that says in order to participate in public middle school or high school athletic activity, a student athlete’s sex must be determined by the gender that is on the student’s birth certificate.

The bill to amend Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 49, relative to school sports is sponsored by Rep. Scott Cepicky (R).

Transgender "female" cyclist Rachel McKinnon.  (Getty Images)
Transgender "female" cyclist Rachel McKinnon. (Getty Images)

The legislation states it is unfair that “those dreams, goals, and opportunities for participation, recruitment, and scholarships can be directly and negatively affected by new school policies permitting boys -- who are male in every biological respect -- to compete in girls' athletic competitions, if they claim a female gender identity.”

The governor received backlash on Twitter from Senator Heidi Campbell (D) who wrote, “What a hurtful thing for a leader to say. There have been zero incidents of this being an issue. This is just hate legislation, and to double down with an insult to our LGBTQ community is unnecessary. Let's elect leaders who care about ALL Tennesseans!”

On Jan. 20, President Joe Biden signed an executive order that says transgender “women” (biological males)  must be allowed to participate in women’s sports at any institution that receives federal funding. This would include use of real women’s bathrooms, locker rooms, and showers.

Transgender cyclist Rachel McKinnon, now an assistant professor of Philosophy at the College of Charleston.  (Screenshot,
Transgender cyclist Rachel McKinnon, now an assistant professor of Philosophy at the College of Charleston. (Screenshot,

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