West Virginia football player takes action to protect women’s sport


West Virginia State University football player seeks to join legal action to support state law that protects equal opportunity in women’s sport. Lainey Armistead is represented by lawyers for the Alliance Defending Freedom who filed a petition asking a federal district court to allow the college footballer to defend the state’s Safeguarding Women’s Sports Act, Bill 3293.

In a September 10 press release, Armistead expressed deep concern over biological men competing with women.

“I believe that protecting equity in women’s sport is about women’s rights,” Armistead said. “It’s not just about fair play for me – it’s about protecting the fairness and safety of 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 sporting opportunities that have shaped my life. Being an athlete in college made me even more passionate about the sport I play. I want fairness, equality and safety in sport. And I want to make sure that these standards are also protected for other girls. “

Christiana Holmes, legal counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, said that when Armistead approached lawyers about the case, she carefully considered her choice to intervene.

“Lainey grew up in a household full of brothers who play soccer, she has a father who coached soccer, who played soccer, and so all her life has been kicking soccer balls with men and she recognizes that this is not only fairness, but safety is also a big concern for her, “said Holmes.” So with all these considerations, she decided that this was something that she felt was important for her voice be heard. “

The request to intervene explains: “[Armistead] worries that too many women feel pressured to keep their real point of view silent, and she worries that girls might consider not playing sports at all if they feel they can’t win against a physically superior man.

The home Bill Armistead wants to protect demands that student-athletes of all ages compete alongside their gender when they are part of gender teams. It is currently under dispute after 11-year-old transgender athlete Becky Pepper-Jackson of Bridgeport Middle School was barred from joining her school’s college girls’ cross country team.

Pepper-Jackson’s lawsuit claims her Title IX rights were violated by banning her from participating in the girls’ team because of her male gender. Title XI prohibits sex discrimination and has historically provided equal opportunities for women in sport.

U.S. District Judge Joseph Goodwin granted Pepper-Jackson permission to obtain a preliminary injunction and hear summary judgment motions on July 8, followed by a trial on July 27, 2022.

Reagan Reese is an intern at The Federalist and a student at Hillsdale College studying rhetoric, public addressing, and journalism. She plays on the varsity softball team and you can follow her on Twitter @reaganreese_.