USA Cycling released a statement to reaffirm its position on the subject of inclusion in cycling events.
The governing body issued the release and an action plan following the recent passing of discriminatory anti-transgender legislation in Arkansas and several other states where USAC and UCI events are being held.
“The practice of sport should be available to everyone,” read the statement this week. “USA Cycling is unequivocally opposed to any legislative efforts that aim to limit an athlete’s access to competition. We respect the rights of athletes and members of our community who wish to boycott events that take place in those states where this legislation is being threatened or enacted.
“We also believe the most effective means to counter these policies are active engagement alongside local groups working to affirm the rights of the entire LGBTQIA+ community by promoting and advancing the discussion and taking a stand against discrimination in any form. We will also seek to place future USA Cycling national championships in cities, counties, and states that welcome all our members.”
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The statement comes after Arkansas passed anti-LGBTQ legislation. Among many other cycling events in the states, Fayetteville, Arkansas is slated to host a round of the 2021 UCI Cyclocross World Cup in October.
The statement from USAC this week outlined its push for inclusivity and equality, and detailed an engagement plan involving several leading industry partners.
“While we have work to do, USA Cycling has proudly been among the most progressive governing bodies of sport on the issue of transgender participation, and in 2017 introduced a tiered (elite and non-elite) policy to ensure safe, fair, and inclusive competition,” read the statement. “These rules are clear and consistent with the IOC and UCI. USA Cycling sanctions over 2,500 events and 20 national championships annually: these events are open to all athletes, are compliant with non-arbitrary qualification requirements, and establish criteria to ensure fair competition. Moving forward, USA Cycling will amplify our advocacy for safe and welcoming access to all LGBTQIA+ athletes and will continue to conduct fair and equitable competitions for all our members.
“Our immediate and initial active engagement plan includes the forming of a coalition of like-minded influential advocates and industry partners, and already Specialized Bicycles, Canyon Bicycles, Allied Cycle Works, and Experience Fayetteville have agreed to participate to bring about faster change for the LGBTQIA+ community. Within 30 days this coalition will set a date for an Inclusion Summit to take place in Fayetteville, AR including groups in Arkansas already working on a more equitable future for the LGBTQIA+ community. Following this Inclusion Summit, our goal will be to organize legislative action in jurisdictions like Arkansas that most threaten inclusivity and our commitment to the LGBTQIA+ community. Alongside these proactive engagement measures, USA Cycling will continue to conduct open-invite roundtables to help inform and better shape our inclusivity policies and practices and continue investment in our DEI Task Force.
“This list is by no means exhaustive but we will learn much from our next steps in this process and it will inform a positive direction of change and discourse for the betterment of the LGBTQIA+ community, our sport, and USA Cycling.
“We realize there is more work to be done, and we will do better.”
For further information on the topic, USAC can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.