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Should Christians Support Transgender Participation in Sports?

Should Christians Support Transgender Participation in Sports?

The battle for women’s rights in the arena of sports has been ongoing, but considering South Carolina’s women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley’s contradictory remarks, controversy has been ignited once again.

After advancing to the Final Four, in the post-game interview, Staley stated, “I got to give honor to the Most High God for allowing us to be back at this same place, in which we had sad tears. I just want you to know that the God I serve… when He closes a door, He opens up a door that can give unimaginable success. This is an uncommon favor.”

This wasn’t the only time Staley spoke out about her faith, giving credit to God and denoting how He has blessed her young players, whom she lovingly calls “daycare,” due to their growth and achievements.

Coach Dawn Staley of No. 1 South Carolina Testifies: "If You Don't Believe in God, Something's Wrong with You"
Coach Dawn Staley, Days after Viral "Believe in God" Message, in Hot Water for Comments on Transgender Athletes

Yet, her comments on faith caused some backlash among unbelievers, and according to The Christian Post, South Carolina’s university president, Michael Amiridis, received a formal letter from an attorney for Freedom from Religion, stating that he needed to "take action to protect its student-athletes and to ensure that Staley understands that she has been hired as a basketball coach and not a pastor."

Just a few days later, Staley made a comment saying she would welcome transgender athletes in women’s sports (Washington Times), which caused an uproar among women's rights activists, such as Riley Gaines. On Fox News, Gaines stated, “I love and respect Dawn Staley… her record is unprecedented, and clearly she is great at what she does… but she is proving to be either incompetent or a sellout.” Gaines goes on to say that Staley knows that men's and women’s sports are vastly different and believes she caved under political pressure, lacking the courage to support women.

As Christians, how can we honor God and the people who are made in His image? 

First, we are called to proclaim the truth with justice and grace (Micah 6:8), Which means we must oppose anything that goes against God’s Word and His design. Yet, at the same time, we must extend compassion to those who may be struggling with their sexual identity. 

The truth is God’s design consists of two genders, male and female (Genesis 1:27, Galatians 3:28). While each gender holds unique attributes and different qualities that complement one another, God created men to be physically stronger (1 Peter 3:7). This isn’t just Biblical, according to BMC Sports Science, Medicine, and Rehabilitation, “During short and maximal exercise, male performed better with their hands, back, and legs than female students. Excess fat for female students has a disadvantageous effect on vertical and horizontal jump performances. The persistence of sex differences after weighting of male students indicates that body fat is responsible for 30 to 70% of the observed differences between sexes' performances and power outcomes during jump tests.” Conclusion: Women are built differently, and not as physically as strong as men.

As believers, we must take the stand that biological men should not be competing in women’s sports, as it not only has unfair disadvantages but also puts women in harm’s way and can be dangerous. 

However, we can’t disregard that we currently live in a society that bases one’s identity, gender, and sexuality on feelings and perceptions. These feelings are often marked by past pain, trauma, confusion, or rejection. That said, the transgender community needs to be enveloped in love and shown mercy. 

It’s a fine line we must walk, showing love while not condoning or accepting sin. We must navigate these times by standing firm in truth and speaking up for injustice but doing so with dignity, grace, and poise. 

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8


Photo Courtesy:  MichaelSvoboda from Getty Images Signature via Canva Pro

Alicia SearlAlicia Searl is a devotional author, blogger, and speaker that is passionate about pouring out her heart and pointing ladies of all ages back to Jesus. She has an education background and master’s in literacy.  Her favorite people call her Mom, which is why much of her time is spent cheering them on at a softball game or dance class. She is married to her heartthrob (a tall, spiky-haired blond) who can whip up a mean latte. She sips that goodness while writing her heart on a page while her puppy licks her feet. Visit her website at and connect with her on Instagram and Facebook.