- The Washington Times - Saturday, June 22, 2024

Pro-transgender vandals defaced the Our Bodies, Our Sports coalition’s “Take Back Title IX” tour bus during a stop in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, covering the vehicle with profanity and crossing out messages such as “Save Women’s Sports.”

The bus was discovered early Friday egged and scribbled with Sharpie-written graffiti such as “Trans Women are Women,” “Protect Trans Kids,” “Hate Group,” and “Bigots on Board,” as shown in photos shared by the Independent Women’s Forum.

Posted near the bus was a cardboard sign that said “Transphobic Bus” and a pink-blue-and-white transgender flag. The bus was also egged, according to the IWF.

“It was an overnight attack. It was sneaky,” said Brianna Howard, IWF external relations manager, told The Washington Times. “They didn’t have the decency to show up to the event and talk to us face to face. Instead, they did it under the cover of night.”

The bus arrived in Chapel Hill for a Thursday rally featuring former University of North Carolina women’s basketball coach Sylvia Hatchell, one of a dozen stops on the monthlong coast-to-coast tour aimed at drumming up opposition to the Biden administration’s newly released rule adding “gender identity” to Title IX.

The Carrboro Police Department is investigating the vandalism, which appears to have been committed by more than one individual.

“It was a collective effort to thwart what we’re doing,” said Ms. Howard, who filed the police report. “It wasn’t just one person. It was multiple people who are anti-women. It was multiple handwritings, different markers.

The bus is hard to miss. It features the faces of a host of current and former female athletes actively opposed to male-born athletes in women’s sports, including Martina Navratilova, Kim Russell, Barbara Ehardt, Riley Gaines, Paula Scanlan, Nancy Hogshead-Makar, and Donna de Varona.

The tour is scheduled for a stop in Richmond, Virginia, before heading to Washington, D.C., for a Tuesday rally celebrating the 52nd anniversary of Title IX on Capitol Hill.

Ms. Navratilova, who is scheduled to appear at the Washington, D.C., event, decried the vandalism, saying on X that “I would call the people who did this cowards and anarchists who don’t give a s—- about women.”

Ms. Gaines, a 12-time All-American swimmer and IWF ambassador, called it “amazing that females wanting female-only sports warrants such a reaction.”

“They’ve resorted to name-calling, defaming, and intentional misrepresentation when they can’t dissuade [us] from our position,” she said in a statement. “And now they’ve added violence and vandalism to their tactics. Common sense, logic, reason, lived experience, and science are on our side.”

Two dozen states have sued to stop the Biden administration’s Title IX rewrite, which extends the landmark civil-right law’s protections to biological males who identify as women. The regulations are scheduled to take effect Aug. 1.

The administration has insisted that the updated rule doesn’t apply to sports, although critics disagree. A second rule barring blanket bans on male-born transgender athletes in female scholastic sports is expected to be released after the November presidential election.

“Let’s be clear. The trans rights activists don’t want inclusion; they want the exclusion of women,” said Ms. Gaines, host of the OutKick podcast “Gaines on Girls.”

Ms. Howard, the tour bus manager, said the “Take Back Title IX” tour won’t be deterred by the vandalism.

“It’s crazy. We’re very disheartened by this happening, but it’s not going to discourage us,” she said. “We’re going to keep pushing forward and spreading the message.”

The Our Bodies, Our Sports coalition includes right-of-center women’s groups such as the IWF and Concerned Women for America as well as left-tilting organizations, including the Women’s Liberation Front and Women’s Declaration International USA.

• Valerie Richardson can be reached at vrichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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