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APP Condemns Kristi Noem for Refusing to Sign Girls’ Sports Bill

March 22, 2021

At a press conference this morning, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) doubled down on her decision to veto legislation which would have prohibited schools in the state from allowing biological males to compete in girls’ sports. Noem cited threats from the NCAA to withhold events from the state as a reason for her decision.

In response, Terry Schilling, president of American Principles Project, released the following statement condemning Noem’s veto:

“Kristi Noem had an opportunity to show real leadership on behalf of girl athletes, both in her state and nationwide. All she had to do was put her signature on a bill which convincingly passed the state legislature and which polling has shown is an incredibly popular issue in South Dakota.

“Unfortunately, Gov. Noem has instead shown herself to be a run-of-the-mill politician — trying to appease wealthy and powerful special interests in her state while also making it falsely appear that she is doing the right thing. Her press conference this morning was a textbook example of political theater. Noem claimed to be taking action to protect girls’ sports, but in reality, her announced initiative was a meaningless gesture calculated to deflect criticism of her surrender to NCAA threats.

“If Noem thinks this gambit will save her political career, she is sadly mistaken. Conservative voters will not forget that when given the choice between standing up for the principles of fairness and equality for girl athletes or caving to the left, she chose the latter. This failure in leadership will define her moving forward.”

Yesterday, APP’s Jon Schweppe published an explainer providing background on the legislation and how Noem was pressured in vetoing it. You can read Schweppe’s full piece here.

To schedule an interview with an APP policy expert, contact Paul Dupont at (o) 202-503-2010 or pdupont@americanprinciplesproject.org

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