Open Letter to the NAGAAA Board
On March 19, 2022 the Badgerland Softball Board of Directors sent the following letter to NAGAAA Board of Directors expressing our concern over the lack of response to Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott ordering the Texas' child welfare agency to investigate reports of gender-confirming care and NAGAAA's plan to host the 2022 Gay Softball World Series in Dallas, TX.
March 19, 2022
Dear NAGAAA Board of Directors,
As a member city, we take our responsibility to the LGBTQ+ community seriously. As you are aware LGBTQ+ individuals regularly face threats of harassment, intimidation, bullying, and violence. This is especially true in the context of sports, where athletes are defined by their strength, gender roles, and competitiveness, rather than their character, dedication to teammates, or commitment to the game. As a result, many LGBTQ+ people feel isolated and fearful of the thought of organized athletics. Many in our community find refuge in spaces created by our member cities and the NAGAAA World Series.
This year, Texas implemented draconian laws attacking the transgender community and their families. Since Governor Abbott issued his directive last month, the state has opened child welfare investigations into parents who provide gender-affirming care likening them to child abusers. The state has declined to provide the number of active investigations and the Department of Justice has failed to intervene.
This is why Badgerland Softball is shocked at the deafening silence from the NAGAAA Board of Directors on this issue and the myriad of recent legislative attacks against our community. It is especially disappointing since NAGAAA is asking members to travel to a discriminatory state in August.
These orders jeopardize the safety of our players, their families, and the spectators that hope to join us. Parents in fear of having their children being taken by protective services may not join us. This fear is not unfounded and should be acknowledged by NAGAAA.
NAGAAA’s lack of leadership hurts its member cities. This silence is counterproductive as we all aim to grow and recruit new players. The lure of playing in our leagues with the goal of playing in the World Series is tainted this year, and made worse by our national organization’s lack of statement.
It is our obligation to show trans athletes and trans children that they belong, that they have a future, and that sports can be a refuge for them.
We are requesting NAGAAA formally:
denounce the moves by the Texas government by sending letters to state, city, and county officials expressing concern for our players and highlighting the economic impact our event brings to the state
confirm that all vendors and partners of this year’s world series do not support these measures and cancel any contracts with businesses who do. This includes and is not limited to municipalities, hotels, rentals, restaurants, and retail partners
waive the non-participation penalty for any member city choosing to abstain from this year’s tournament due to this legislation.
at the next council meeting adopt a venue selection policy which ensures the values of our community are uplifted and the impact of travel to specific states is considered.
identify ways to keep our trans athletes and spectators safe during the GSWS and support local trans youth/parents impacted by this law.
We respectfully request a response from the NAGAAA Board by May 1, 2022. Badgerland Softball stands ready to support NAGAAA and our other member cities to ensure an inclusive event for all members of our community.
Badgerland Softball Board of Directors
cc: Member City Delegates
2022 GSWS Host Committee
Badgerland Softball League