Today’s best op-ed is on the sports page

One of the best things about Raleigh’s News & Observer is sports columnist Luke DeCock. The veteran journalist has the rare ability to write insightful essays about NHL game strategy or college basketball recruiting one day and important matters of public policy the next.

Today, he’s opted to take on the latter with an on-the-mark assessment of the cynical and misguided push by Republican state legislators to attack transgender athletes.

As DeCock accurately points out, North Carolina is on the verge of reliving the HB 2 debacle all over again:

So we’ve learned nothing.

That’s the only way to look at House Bill 358, the latest attempt by Republicans in the North Carolina legislature to codify legal discrimination against transgender people, five years after they did the same thing with House Bill 2, to this state’s eternal indignity and shame.

It’s HB2 II.

DeCock then goes on to explain in detail why efforts to ban transgender girls from participating in sports make no sense. He notes that while it may be confusing to a lot of people who haven’t thought about the matter — a fact that makes the whole issue that much more susceptible to fearmongering — the simple truth is that trans girls haven’t been and won’t be a threat:

Many transgender girls have already taken puberty-blocking drugs that limit their testosterone levels anyway, negating the supposed advantage they would have. And what about cisgender girls with naturally high testosterone levels; should they be prohibited from competition as well?

Not only do transgender girls make up a tiny fraction of the adolescent population, California’s high school association has let transgender girls compete against other girls since 2014 without a ripple. A lone lawsuit in Connecticut filed by cisgender female runners who lost to a transgender competitor has gotten a ton of attention, but the Associated Press found almost no instances of a problem in any of the states considering similar bans.

The bottom line, he explains, is that the new anti-trans push will — if it becomes law — put North Carolina back on the backwater-international pariah list once again and do great damage to sports in our state for everyone — athletes and fans.

Click here to read the entire essay.

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