Gov. Kristi Noem Promises to ‘Protect Women’s Sports After Conservative Pushback

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem refuses to sign transgender sports bill, prompting backlash from conservatives

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem called conservative criticism of the transgender sports bill “unfair” and “untrue” on the Todd Starnes Radio Show.

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South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem defended her position on a transgender sports bill Tuesday on the Todd Starnes Radio Show after pushback from conservatives.

Organizations like Family Research Council and Alliance Defending Freedom issued scathing statements against Noem after she sent the bill back to the legislature Friday for revisions.

“I did not veto this bill,” she told host Todd Starnes. “What I did is send it back to the legislature and ask them to make some changes. And what I asked them to do was to allow me to protect women’s sports and then go forward and fight the NCAA in a way we can win.”

Starnes pointed out conservatives suggested she bent a knee to Amazon, the Chamber of Commerce, and the NCAA.

“That’s completely untrue,” responded Noem. “And it’s unfair. If they would read the revisions and read the concerns and recognize the drafting in this bill and how it opened up families and school districts to litigation and took an honest look at it (the bill), I think they would understand exactly why I did what I did.”

The potential 2024 contender described the current bill as a “trial lawyer’s dream.” 

“It also puts South Dakota in a position where it picks a fight with the NCAA,” explained Noem. “What I’m asking them (the legislature) to do is to allow me to form a coalition so that we can fight at the collegiate level- a victory that actually does make sure only women play in women’s sports.”

She said other governors are supportive of protecting women’s sports.

“They’ve all got different situations in their states as well and different bills moving through their states as well,” Noem said. “The problem is that the NCAA and these big companies or other entities can take action against us once we have a law in the book. That’s what triggers them taking that punitive action against the state.”

Noem said that if these revisions were made to the bill and if she were to sign it, biological girls in women’s sports would be protected. 

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