Column: Make solutions not boycotts

Published 6:40 pm Friday, April 16, 2021

Mississippi is once again at odds with the NCAA after the passing of SB 2536, known as the Mississippi Fairness Act.

The NCAA announced it might not award postseason competitions to locations that do not discriminate against transgender athletes this week.

We are 58 years removed from the game of chance when Mississippi State played Loyola Chicago in basketball. The game broke an unwritten rule in Mississippi barring competitions with integrated teams.

Babe McCarthy and his Bulldogs dominated the SEC in the years leading up to that game, but political choices denied the Bulldogs an opportunity to showcase their talents on the sports grandest stage.

Here we go again. It looks as if the youth of Mississippi will have to suffer for the actions of the adults who govern the state.

Sadly, the actions of political leaders can limit the opportunities athletes have. They did in the past, and they threaten to do so again.

It is also sad the NCAA wants to push an agenda of equality when it fails to do so in the first place. If you look at the disparity between the amenities available to the men’s basketball teams and women’s basketball teams in the NCAA tournament, you would know how they truly feel about women’s athletics.

Instead of boycotting an ssue, maybe we should work to solve the issue.  One such solution would be to stop separating women and men from each sport. Instead, society could make an effort to create more co-ed teams.

In college, I was on an intramural co-ed soccer team. The co-ed team was the most fun I ever had playing a sport. Even in sports where men and women compete separately, such as swimming or cross country, athletes practice together. Athletes work together, and athletes bond together because they are on one team.

Political poker may force change, but in regards to sports it will always do so at the cost of student-athletes, sometimes the very ones you try to protect.

If you are a transgender athlete in our coverage area, we ask you to share your story of how the Mississippi Fairness Act has impacted you. Issues stay a piece of legislation until people humanize issues. Your story can make change possible.