NFL’s first trans cheerleader slams North Carolina law banning males from competing in female sports

by WorldTribune Staff, September 22, 2023

In August, Republicans who hold a supermajority in North Carolina’s state legislature overrode Democrat Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto and pushed through the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, which bans biological males from competing in female sports at the middle school, high school, and college levels.

Justine Lindsay, the NFL’s first transgender cheerleader, has vowed to “fight this until I can’t fight anymore. It saddens me to see it.”

Carolina Panthers cheerleader Justine Lindsay / Eakin Howard / Getty Images

In Marcy 2022 the 30-year-old Lindsay made the Carolina Panthers’ TopCats cheer squad. In an interview with Elle, Lindsay compared the achievement to becoming “a doctor or a nurse.”

“Everything that I’m going through now, it’s bigger than me. No one is going to stop the show,” Lindsay said.

The Daily Mail noted: “The dancer has become a figurehead in debates around transgender athletes inclusion in female sports — despite her own role not being threatened by a recent ban passed in her home state.”

After making the Panthers’ cheer squad, Lindsay told Elle: “People were like, ‘Are they going to put her in a dress? Are they going to put her in pants?’ ”

Cheer squad teammate Chris Crawford, one of two gay men who joined the team in November 2021, added that it was not surprising to see the angry reaction from some to Lindsay landing a place on the team, noting that “we are in the South.”

The push to ban biological males from female sports has been fueled most notably by hulking swimmer Lia Thomas’s win in the NCAA championships in March 2022.

In North Carolina, a biological male won a female cycling race by over five minutes. Austin Killips, 27, throttled the competition in the 137-mile long race called the Belgian Waffle Ride.

The issue forced champion cyclist Hannah Arensman from her sport after she lost out of a podium place to a trans cyclist. In April, Arensman announced the end of her dream of competing in the Olympics, saying the inclusion of trans racers meant she would “lose no matter how hard I train.”

Tommy Lundberg, a lecturer in physiology at Sweden’s Karolinska Institute and leading researcher on the subject, told in March: “The most important thing is whether or not you have benefited from male development and male puberty and if you’ve done that, you’re going to have advantages you cannot undo later.”

This view was also shared by Nancy Hogshead, a former pro swimmer who won three gold medals and one silver at the 1984 Olympics, who told “Trans women have an undeniable physical advantage. Their bodies do what male bodies do when they go through puberty and is the reason why we segregate sports ubiquitously around the world. Unless we’re talking about just playing, just recreational sports. All competitive sports are sex segregated.”

Lindsay has no plans to shy away from the spotlight, seeing becoming the first transgender cheerleader in the NFL as “setting things up for the younger generation. Everything that I’m going through now, it’s bigger than me.”

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