South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem (R) on Monday defended her push to have her state's legislature make changes to a bill that would bar transgender athletes from competing in women's sports. According to Noem, "legal scholars" have warned her about the potential lawsuits associated with the bill, especially when it comes to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and their demands.
"I'm sick and tried of the NCAA threatening states, challenging us, and bullying us and so we're going to build a coalition of leaders, athletes, and people who want to protect women's sports and want to make sure women keep Title IX funding, to protect their right to be competitive and be rewarded by participating in these team sports and make sure this coalition can fight the NCAA to make sure we're protecting Title IX," she explained to Fox News' Tucker Carlson.
"But these standards far predate Title IX and I'm not sure why Title IX is relevant or even really worth defending," Carlson said. "This is thousands of years of common sense and tradition. Girls play girls sports, boys play boy sports. Why not just say, 'Bring it on, NCAA. I'm a national figure, go ahead and try and exclude us, I will fight you in the court of public opinion and defend principle.' Why not just do that?"
Noem said she sent the bill back to the state legislature because she's "not interested in picking a fight" that South Dakota can't win.
Carlson pointed out that the majority of South Dakotans are in favor of the bill and Noem has essentially said the bill can't go forward.
"You had a democratic process that arose from your own citizens. They want this bill and you've stopped it," the Fox News host said. "So I'm not really sure how this is defending women's sports."
"The bill that my legislature gave me is a trial lawyer's dream," the governor said. "It creates more and more litigation and regulation that's impossible to comply with for families and for school districts and people going forward."
According to Noem, there are issues with boys and girls having to prove their gender, something that could open the state up to litigation.
"If a child doesn't make a team they have up to a year later, can come back and sue every member of that team in the K-12 system and the entire school district as well, and continue suing so they have the opportunity to play," the governor explained. "If we put collegiate athletics on there then we will get punitively challenged by the NCAA and we'll have to continue to fight them and a court district that is not friendly to winning."
Noem said if the legislature fails to change the bill through the "Style and Form" revision process, she will ask them to introduce a new bill. If that fails to happen, the governor said she would call the legislature into a special session to get the ball rolling.
Tucker Carlson and South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem debate her decision to send a bill to ban biological men from playing girls sports back to the state legislature:— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) March 23, 2021
TUCKER: "You caved to the NCAA."
GOV. NOEM: "Im not interested in picking a fight [in court] that we can’t win" pic.twitter.com/rgWAUIUcCh