Athlete Ally, an organization dedicated to ending homophobia and transphobia in sports, has released their Athletic Equality Index (AEI), an ongoing assessment of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) athletic departments’ policies and practices around LGBTQ inclusion. Georgia universities did not fare well.
AEI scores are awarded Athlete Ally performs a comprehensive audit of the student-athlete handbook, policy manuals, and official athletes website to identify policies and practices of LGBTQ inclusion of every NCAA Division-1 (D-1) school.
Of the four Georgia schools included in the AEI – Georgia State University, Georgia Southern University, Georgia Institute of Technology, and University of Georgia – the University of Georgia performed the best, receiving a 40 out of 100. UGA received a 10 out of 25 for nondiscrimination policy, 15 out of 15 for sexual harassment policy, five out of five for pro-LGBTQ trainings for staff, ten out of ten for LGBTQ educational resources, and zeroes in the following categories: annual partnership/collaboration, trans inclusion policy, fan code of conduct, and pro-LGBTQ trainings for athletes.
Georgia Southern University followed closely behind with 35 out of 100: 20 out of 25 for nondiscrimination policy, 10 out of 15 for annual partnership/collaboration, five out of ten for LGBTQ educational resources, and zeroes for sexual harassment policy, pro-LGBTQ trainings for staff and athletes, trans inclusion policy, and fan code of conduct.
Georgia State University scored 25 out of 100: 15 out of 25 for nondiscrimination policy, 10 out of 15 for sexual harassment policy, and zeroes for annual partnership/collaboration, pro-LGBTQ trainings for staff and athletes, trans inclusion policies, fan code of conduct, and LGBTQ educational resources.
Georgia Institute of Technology scored the worst of the schools with only 15 out of 100: ten out of 25 for nondiscrimination policy and 5 out of 15 for sexual harassment policy.
Overall, the report reveals a concerning lack of LGBTQ resources, policies, and practices for LGBTQ students. 92 percent of D-1 athletic departments don’t have fully inclusive trans athlete policies, 70 percent don’t offer LGBTQ educational resources to athletes and staff, and 80 percent don’t have a Fan Code of Conduct stipulating that discriminatory fan behavior at games is strictly prohibited. Less than three precent of NCAA D-1 athletes compete in departments that fully protect their LGBTQ identities.