South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem told “Fox & Friends” on Friday she was “surprised” that people have questioned her “strength” on a bill banning transgender girls and women from participating in female sports. The Republican governor said she returned the bill to the state legislature for revisions, pushing back on those questioning whether she caved to opposition from the NCAA.
KRISTI NOEM: “Look at my history. Years ago, I fought on this issue. Years ago, the federal government tried to force the sport of rodeo to eliminate girls’ events and boys’ events and let all genders play in all sports. And I was the only one that fought them. I stood without the help of any other members of Congress. No other governors helped me. This was when I was in the House and I won this fight with USDA and allowed rodeo to still have girls being girls sports and boys being boys sport.
So I’ve already proven myself on this issue and I’ve been working on this for many, many years. Also, I’m just kind of surprised that people think that I could do what I did during the year of COVID that we just went through and not be strong. I am literally the only governor in this country that never once mandated masks, never put anything on my people, such as shelter in place.
I did not close a single business. I didn’t even define what an essential business was, because I don’t believe that governors have the authority to tell you that your business is not essential. I went through that entire year being the only governor making the decisions that I was making and was strong enough to do that.
So what I’m doing here is trying to make sure that we have a victory. I understand getting into a fight, but I don’t want to fight just to fight. I want to fight to win. And I want to make sure that we really do push the NCAA down, we push big business down, and we really end up with a victory that allows us to really make sure only girls play in girls’ sports.”