A Florida Senate panel signed off on a proposal that would ban transgender athletes from taking part in school and collegiate sports.
The ban has faced backlash from various organizations in the state of Florida. The Miami Heat released a statement condemning the ban and said, "Sports should be welcome for all."
If the ban does become an act in Florida, the NCAA will reconsider the future of close to 50 championship events scheduled to be held in the state in the next five years.
Miami Heat condemns the anti-trans bill and sports ban
A spokesperson for the Miami Heat released a statement against the anti-trans legislation:
"The Miami Heat champions diversity and inclusion both on and off the court. We believe sports are at their best when they bring people together to work, to play and to create a sense of belonging for all. Every young person deserves the opportunity to participate in athletics and experience the critical life lessons that sports offer such as wellness, dedication, problem-solving, and leadership. Sports should be welcoming for all."
The statement was released by Equality Florida, a political advocacy group that fights for the civil rights of the LGBTQ population of the state. In addition to the Miami Heat and the NCAA, an e-sports gaming company called 'Misfits Gaming' also joined the opposition. Nadine Smith, Executive Director of Equality Florida, said:
"We applaud the Heat and Misfits and the legion of sports and business leaders for standing on the right side of history — on the side of transgender young people. Just like their peers, transgender kids participate in sports to find a place to belong. Major sports teams in Florida and the country have long understood this and sought to provide pathways into sports for young people of all identities. It is beyond time for the Florida Legislature to stop these bills that are driven by election posturing not the needs of young people in our state. Lawmakers should heed the overwhelming calls for inclusion and put a stop to these bills."
Miami Heat legend Dwyane Wade has a personal connection to the fight for transgender and LGBTQ rights. His 13-year-old daughter, Zaya Wade, is transgender and he has been quite outspoken about the discrimination that transgender people face.