FIRST ON THE DAILY SIGNAL: Female athlete Macy Petty says she hand delivered a letter from prominent women’s organizations asking for fairness in women’s sports—and NCAA Board of Governors Chair Linda Livingstone wouldn’t even look her in the eye.

Petty, a member of the women’s organization Concerned Women for America, was one of a number of female activists and athletes that rallied outside the annual meeting of the NCAA in Phoenix.

“We had so many Olympians and current and former NCAA athletes speak,” she said.

Macy was able to go inside the meeting as she is a current athlete. She shared with The Daily Signal that as she sat outside the meeting waiting for it to conclude, she could hear people accusing her and her fellow activists of “crying wolf.”

The goal was to give the letter to NCAA President Charlie Baker, the former governor of Massachusetts, but Petty took a window of opportunity to give the demand letter to Livingstone, who is also president of Baylor University.

“When they concluded, I found Dr. Livingstone, and tried to hand her the demand letter signed by all of us, and she wouldn’t even make eye contact with me,” she explained. “[The NCAA] is an organization that I’ve given my whole life for, I am still under their governance, and she wouldn’t make eye contact with me. I put the letter in her hands and I told her that I appreciate her consideration of female athletes and that I look forward to her response.”

In a statement to The Daily Signal, a Baylor spokesman said that Livingstone “was ambushed in between meetings at the NCAA Convention,” though Petty told The Daily Signal that an NCAA official gave her permission to wait for Livingstone after the meeting and deliver the letter.

“There is a time and place to have meaningful discussions about important topics of this nature,” the Baylor spokesman said. “Dr. Livingstone accepted the document provided by Macy Petty and thanked her as she departed to another engagement.”

Baylor University President Linda Livingstone exits a room. (Photo: Macy Petty)

“They’re discriminating against women,” Petty said. “They’re shutting the door in our face. They don’t want to hear us. But it was a whole different feeling when I’m trying to have a conversation and I’m not even being treated like a human being, to intentionally avoid eye contact with a fellow woman, female athlete, someone inside the NCAA. It was dehumanizing.”

The letter is signed by former NCAA swimmers Riley Gaines and Paula Scanlan as well as leaders from the Independent Women’s Forum, Concerned Women for America, the Women’s Liberation Front, the International Consortium on Female Sports, Young Women for America, and more.

“We write on behalf of a coalition of women’s organizations to demand that the NCAA meet with female athletes adversely affected by its discriminatory practice of allowing male athletes on women’s teams,” the letter states.

“Without single-sex competition there can be no equal athletic opportunity,” the letter continues. “The NCAA knows this, yet it continues to propagate a policy that allows male athletes on women’s teams, even as international sports governing bodies and state legislatures increasingly reject these unjust and inequitable policies that harm female athletes.”

The women’s groups renewed their demands to the NCAA that it repeal policies and rules allowing men to compete as women, establish and enforce the rights of female athletes to participate in sports based on sex, and to require the NCAA’s member institutions to provide single-sex locker rooms for female athletes.

“The NCAA has not acted on any of these demands, and instead, women’s rights have been further eroded,” the letter adds.

“Our women’s coalition has worked with sports governing bodies and legislative authorities to help them protect female athletes from discrimination and exclusion on the basis of their sex,” it continues. “We are willing and able to share our expertise with the NCAA – if the NCAA wants to renew its commitment to providing equal opportunity for female athletes.”

The NCAA did not immediately respond to requests for comment from The Daily Signal.

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