AAC Statement on Transgender & Nonbinary Athlete Inclusion
by USOPC Athletes' Advisory Council
The AAC, which serves as the representative group and voice of Team USA athletes, seeks to promote a safe and welcoming environment for everyone involved in sport, consistent with the AAC's core values of championing diversity, equity and inclusion.
Everyone should have equal access to and opportunity in sport. The AAC opposes any attempt to marginalize, limit or deny human rights and is on the side of inclusion of all participants in youth sports. Banning transgender and nonbinary kids from sports ostracizes from a fundamental part of growing up and all the benefits sports provide to youth.
The AAC also recognizes the difference between youth sports (K-12 and recreational) and elite sports. Competitive sport relies on a level playing field where no athlete has an unfair and disproportionate advantage over another. Sport must ensure everyone, irrespective of their gender identity or sex characteristics, can compete in a safe environment that respects and recognizes their needs and identities while balancing the interests of ensuring fair competition. Like the IOC, we echo that simply because an athlete is transgender or has an intersex variation, does not mean they automatically have a competitive advantage in sport.
Each sport's governing body should be given the latitude to determine how an athlete may be at a disproportionate advantage over another considering the nature of each sport. Eligibility criteria play a paramount role in ensuring fairness, particularly at the elite level. Such criteria should be evidence-based, employ a stakeholder centered approach and be grounded in inclusion, prevention of harm, fairness and nondiscrimination. As the AAC, we remain committed to ensuring all athletes have the right to participate in sport in a way that respects their health, safety and dignity.