Girls grappling no-gi NAGA 2014 via Girls Grappling As Seen On Jiu Jitsu Times YouTube, screenshot

The former collegiate swimming champion and women’s sports advocate defended those women who refused to compete against men in their divisions

A recent report from the site Reduxx last week has brought attention to an incident at a North American Grappling Association (NAGA) tournament in which a female Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu athletes refused to take part in her division after it was revealed that she would be competing against several men.

Riley Gaines
Riley Gaines via Fox Business YouTube

Because of the negative backlash against NAGA, they organization ended up making changes to their rulebook regarding their policy on transgender athletes. Now, they have made it clear that only women can compete against other women, regardless as to how someone “identifies.”

Celebrating NAGA’s announcement was women’s sports advocate and Outkick contributor, Riley Gaines, who discussed with OutKick’s Charly Arnolt the meaning of this victory for women.

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“It’s huge. That is what we have needed to see,” said Gaines. “We have needed to see girls [fight] back and look what happens when you do. It took 21 hours — just 21 hours — for NAGA to change their policies and protect women’s sports, prioritize fairness over inclusion.”

Riley Gaines commended Reduxx and the Independent Council on Women’s Sports (ICONS) for raising awareness about an issue in the lesser-known sport of jiu-jitsu. Gaines highlighted the significance of the boycott by female jiu-jitsu athletes, stating that their actions not only protected themselves but future generations of women in the sport.

Gaines believes this courageous stance sets a powerful example and hopes it encourages women in all sports to assert their rights and take a stand against injustices, emphasizing the importance of not backing down in the face of challenges.

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