Nostalgia can be bittersweet. Sometimes I miss playing high school basketball – working with teammates; hearing the crowd; the pride of seeing hustle pay off. I loved watching my kids play sports, and I also loved watching Bryon coach, but there’s nothing that’s quite like the thrill of competing yourself – of taking on the opponent and emerging victorious.
Sports teach us a lot of life lessons. Victory teaches us the benefit of hard work, the payoff that comes with pushing just a little bit harder for a little bit longer. Defeat teaches lessons, too. We often learn more from mistakes than from success. In both victory and defeat, sports teach our kids teamwork, which will be invaluable for the rest of their lives.
Earlier this summer, Title IX turned 50. Title IX is the law that guarantees equal opportunity for biological girls in school and in sports. Basically, it guarantees fairness and equal opportunity for girls to learn the lessons of victory, defeat, and teamwork—in the classroom and on the field.
There are some today who want to pervert that and allow biological males to compete in girls’ sports. South Dakota has been clear – there is no way we will allow that to happen.
This year, I wrote and proposed the toughest law in the nation to guarantee that only girls play in girls’ sports in South Dakota at both the K-12 and collegiate level. That bill was the first one that I signed this year, and we held a celebration in the Capitol Rotunda.
But now, the Biden Administration is attempting to undermine fairness for girls by requiring schools to allow boys to play in girls’ sports or else lose lunch money for our kids. Yes, the same Biden Administration that caused a formula shortage for our babies is now literally trying to take food off our kids’ plates. South Dakota isn’t going to stand for it.
This past week, 14 Republican Governors joined me in promising the Biden Administration that if they move forward with this ridiculous interpretation of Title IX, we will take action to protect our kids. After so many calls to “trust the science,” the Biden Administration should recognize the basic biological differences between boys and girls.
Those differences are a wonderful part of life. Some of them are subtle, others profound. And one of the places that they are most evident is on the field of competition. It isn’t complicated – it’s a matter of basic fairness.
South Dakota will always stand for our kids and grandkids. They are the future, and their sports are more than just games for children – they are the building block for lessons and skills that will last a lifetime.
In South Dakota, we believe only girls should play girls’ sports. And we are going to keep it that way.
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