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Keep Girls Safe Playing Girls Sports

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Growing up, I loved sports, and I always played sports in school or with friends. When I became a mom 21 years ago, I was thrilled because my son was born, and I was excited to share my love of sports with him. His passion for sports took him off the field and behind the microphone. He is now my favorite sports podcaster, the Sportsfanatic.

My daughter found her sports passion in lacrosse. She is a goalie, which in my opinion, is the craziest position on a lacrosse field. She is the only one wearing a helmet because the balls are coming to her super fast. My daughter and her teammates work hard to hone their skills. They give up summer vacations and time with family and friends to become their best.

It bothers me that biological women like U.S. Women's National Soccer Team (USWNT) Megan Rapino, USWNT captain Becky Sauerbrunn, former USWNT midfielder Lori Lindsey and boxer Patricia Manuel say men that identify as women should be able to compete in biological women's sports. These elite athletes penned a letter to support biological males competing against biological females. By most accounts, the female athletes signing the letter are in the second half of their careers. I find it hypocritical that they have the nerve to tell girls just starting their sports journeys to basically suck it up and play in rigged games.

Do not be deceived. When biological males play biological females, the games are rigged. There is no reason that someone born as a male should be playing in my daughter's lacrosse game. My daughter is fierce and strong, but she is biologically a female. Her makeup is different from that of her brother and every male who plays lacrosse.

Consider the story of Payton McNabb, a North Carolina high school female who was severely injured in a high school volleyball game when she suffered a concussion and neck injury after playing opposite a biological male. The young athlete now suffers impaired vision, constant headaches anxiety and depression McNabb’s story is not the only one of female athletes suffering because being forced to play against biological males.

We have to compare apples to apples. When I consider the sport that my daughter loves, it is clear. Boys' lacrosse is not the same as girls' lacrosse. One of the most significant differences is the equipment worn by the players. In boys, lacrosse players wear much more gear which is entirely different than what girls wear.

Boys' lacrosse is played at a much faster pace on a shorter field and is far more physical than girls' lacrosse. Due to the extreme physicalness of the game, all the boys on a lacrosse team wear padding for their safety. Each boy's lacrosse team player wears helmets, elbow pads, shoulder pads and gloves. In girls' lacrosse, only the goalkeeper wears a helmet and maybe padding, while the other players only wear goggles and a mouth guard.

All children should be allowed to play whatever sport they choose to play. But we talk about keeping children safe physically on the field of play; how is it safe to have a male playing against a female in any sport? The male body is bigger and stronger than the female body. This is not my opinion; it's a fact.

Everyone is talking about how unfair it is to keep boys who identify as girls out of girls' sports. Isn't it unfair to tell biological girls they have to compete in their sport against boys who identify as girls who are also naturally stronger and bigger, and faster? This is a recipe for girls to lose every single time.

We must allow those who are biological males to compete against biological males and biological females to compete against biological females. When this happens, competition is as it should be, allowing for fair play for all on the field on any level.

My final question is where are the feminists? The letter from Megan Rapinoe was met by virtually no outrage from feminist leaders who talk a good game about protecting and empowering women. Who will protect girls and the sports they love to play?

Dee Dee Bass Wilbon is co-founder of Bass Public Affairs , co-host of Policy and Pound Cake, co-author of Prayer and Pound Cake, and the features of editor of BPALiveWire .  A Jack and Jill mom, Diamond Life member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and proud Fisk University Bulldog, Dee Dee lives with her husband Brian in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.  They have four kiddos.


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