A West Virginia State University soccer player is seeking to join a lawsuit to support a state law that protects equal opportunity in women’s sports. Representing Lainey Armistead is Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys who filed a motion asking a federal district court to allow the college soccer player to defend the state’s Save Women’s Sports Act, House Bill 3293.
In a press release on Sept. 10, Armistead voiced grave concern with biological men competing against women.
“I believe that protecting fairness in women’s sports is a women’s rights issue,” Armistead said. “This isn’t just about fair play for me: It’s about protecting fairness and safety for female athletes across West Virginia. It’s about ensuring that future generations of female athletes are not discriminated against but have access to the same equal athletic opportunities that shaped my life. Being an athlete in college has made me even more passionate about the sport that I play. I want fairness, equality, and safety in sports. And I want to ensure those standards are protected for other girls, too.”
BREAKING: WVSU soccer player seeks to protect women’s sports
ADF attorneys ask court to allow female athlete to intervene to help defend WV’s Save Women’s Sport Act
— Alliance Defending Freedom (@AllianceDefends) September 10, 2021
Christiana Holmes, who serves as legal counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, said when Armistead approached the attorneys about the case, she put careful consideration into choosing to intervene.
“Lainey grew up in a household full of brothers who play soccer, she’s got a dad who coached soccer, who played soccer, and so her entire she life has kicked soccer balls with males and she recognizes that it is not just fairness, but safety is a big concern for her as well,” Holmes said. “So, with all of these considerations, she decided this is something that she felt was important for her voice to be heard.”
The motion to intervene explains, “[Armistead] fears that too many women feel pressured to keep their real views silent, and she fears that girls might consider not playing sports at all if they feel they cannot win against a physically superior male.”
The House Bill Armistead wishes to protect requires student athletes of any age to compete alongside those of their sex when on sex-specific teams. It is currently under challenge after 11-year-old transgender athlete Becky Pepper-Jackson of Bridgeport Middle School was blocked from joining her school’s middle school girls’ cross-country team.
Pepper-Jackson’s lawsuit says his Title IX rights were violated by prohibiting his participation on the girls’ team based on his male sex. Title XI bans sex discrimination and has historically brought equal opportunity for women in sports.
U.S. District Judge Joseph Goodwin allowed Pepper-Jackson a preliminary injunction and hearing motions for summary judgment on July 8, followed by a trial for July 27, 2022.
Reagan Reese is an intern at The Federalist and a student at Hillsdale College studying rhetoric and public address and journalism. She plays on the varsity softball team and you can follow her on Twitter @reaganreese_.