The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) announced Friday that its new governing body for women’s sports has approved the use of gender neutral pronouns in its official rules for football.
The NCA announced that it is implementing the rule change for the first time in its 40-year history.
“We’ve been saying this is an important issue and we want to make sure that women’s football players feel comfortable in the classroom and at the game,” NCA president Susan Katz said.
The rule change will not affect the game at the college level.
The new rule only applies to NCAA Division I football.NCAA commissioner Greg Sankey said the league has been working on the change for some time.
The move comes in response to an NCA ruling in June that made the use and presentation of pronouns for women in sports an issue that should be considered by every college, Katz said, adding that the decision came after many conversations about the issue and the challenges of implementing it at the collegiate level.
The NCAA has made gender neutral signage in women’s bathrooms and locker rooms since 2006.
But many schools have refused to change their gender-neutral signage in the locker room or bathroom, leaving athletes wondering if they can use them.