Since the story of a transgender swimmer placing first in a women's 500-yard freestyle swimming competition broke two weeks ago, I've been doing a lot of thinking about the topic of transgender athletes in sports. For Idaho parents out there, would you have any problem from a fairness standpoint if your son or daughter placed second behind a transgender athlete in a competition?

For those that haven't heard yet, a University of Pennsylvania swimmer recently took first place in a freestyle competition but wasn't recognized by many including a Florida governor as deserving top honors. It's the opinion of many that the athlete that finished second should be the rightful winner. In this particular case, the University of Pennsylvania swimmer competed as a male for the first three years, and then underwent hormone-replacement therapy and began swimming for the female team in 2021.

As a dad with a son and daughter, I really don't have an issue with a transgender athlete competing against either one of my kids. My daughter played volleyball for a number of years, and was surrounded by athletes that were far better than she was and her playing time was often shortened because of it. For parents of kids that are superior athletes who routinely dominate their prospective sport, there's a different mindset for both the parent and athlete.

What needs to remembered in school sports at every level is the saying, "It's not whether you win or lose, it's how you play the game." There are some individual sports such as wrestling that might create more controversy among athletes and parents in such matters, but does this really mean a transgender athlete should be asked (or forced) to stop competing in a sport they love due to public or political pressure.

What are your thoughts on transgender athletes?

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