Over a Dozen Female Athletes File Lawsuit Against NCAA for Allowing Men to Compete in Women’s Sports

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Written By Maya Cantina

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The Free Press Interviews Riley Gaines and Reka Gyorgy.

On Thursday, a group of female athletes filed a lawsuit against the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Thursday over their decision to allow “transgender” athletes to compete against them and use locker rooms for women.

The lawsuit was filed by the Independent Council on Women’s Sports (ICONS) on behalf of over a dozen female athletes. It alleges that the NCAA violated Title IX, a federal statute that guarantees equal opportunity for men and women in college sports.

It seeks to prohibit biological males from competing against female athletes.  Further, it demands the NCAA revoke awards received by “transgender” athletes who competed against women in tournaments that were governed by the organization.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of 16 former and current female collegiate athletes includes Riley Gaines (Swimmer, Gallatin, TN), Reka Gyorgy (Swimmer, Blacksburg, VA), Kylee Alons(Swimmer, Raleigh, NC), Kaitlyn Wheeler (Swimmer, Springfield, IL), Ainsley Erzen (Track and Soccer, Des Moines, IA), Ellie Eades (Tennis, Floyds Knobs, IN), Lily Mullens (Swimmer, North Canton, OH), Susanna Price (Track & Field, Swimmer, Los Alamos, NM), Carter Satterfield(Swimmer, Cary, NC), Kate Pearson (Virginia Beach, VA), Katie Blankinship (Swimmer, Woodstock, GA), Julianna Morrow (Swimmer, Mooresville, NC), and four other athletes proceeding under pseudonyms to protect them from retaliation and reprisal.

ICONS said in a press release:

“This lawsuit against the NCAA isn’t just about competition; it’s a fight for the very essence of women’s sports,” said ICONS Co-Founder Marshi Smith, a collegiate All-American and NCAA national champion swimmer. “We’re standing up for justice and the rights of female athletes to compete on a level playing field. It’s about preserving the legacy of Title IX and ensuring that the future of women’s sports is as bright as its past.”

The athletes are challenging NCAA regulations allowing male athletes to compete in women’s sports. This suit follows in the wake of a legal demand letter, sent by ICONS in 2023.The lawsuit seeks to change the NCAA’s policies that allow male athletes who identify as transgender to participate in women’s sports. The plaintiffs, representing a broad coalition of female athletes across multiple sports, argue the NCAA’s regulations compromise the fairness and integrity of women’s competitive sports and discriminate against women, violating Title IX’s core principles.

“We’re not just fighting for ourselves, we’re fighting for every young girl who dreams of competing in sports,” said Riley Gaines. “I’m thankful for ICONS’ commitment to our cause, especially their financial commitment allowing us to take this to court. I urge anyone who cares about protecting women’s sport to help get behind us.”

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“By challenging the NCAA’s draconian and discriminatory policies, we’re sending a clear message: the integrity of women’s sports is non-negotiable,” said ICONS Co-Founder Kim Jones, who is a collegiate tennis All-American and former U.S. National Team member. “We are committed to defending the hard-won rights of women athletes everywhere. This isn’t just a legal battle; it’s a moral stand for equality and justice in sports.”

“This lawsuit sends a message loud and clear that women will fight for the pillars of fairness and equal opportunity. We need to preserve those principles,” said swimmer Reka Gyorgy. “We must take this opportunity to protect our future.”

Read the filing below:

In January, ICONS delivered a legal demand letter to the NCAA:

Watch:

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