South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem joined Tucker Carlson on Monday night to talk about the Fairness in Women’s Sports bill being held up in the state.
Tucker asked Noem if big business, the NCAA, chamber of commerce and Amazon influenced Noem’s decision on the bill.
“Well that’s not true Tucker,” Noem said.
She said she could sign the bill the way it is, but it would not solve the problem.
“As I looked at the bill and examined it, and have been discussing with legal scholars for many months on how to protect women’s sports, this bill would only allow the NCAA to bully South Dakota and it would actually prevent women from being able to participate in collegiate sports,” Noem said.
Tucker cut Noem off shortly after that, asking how the bill prevents women from playing in South Dakota.
“What it would do is it would put a law on the books that would allow the NCAA to take punitive action against our state,” Noem said. “And we’re a small state Tucker. We’ve had to fight hard to get any tournaments to come to South Dakota.”
Noem said legal scholars who she has consulted with for “many, many months” predict she would lose those legal challenges.
“So you’re saying the NCAA threatened you and you don’t think you could win that fight,” Tucker said. “They said if you sign this we won’t allow girls in South Dakota to play and you don’t think you can win in court even though the public overwhelmingly supports you nationally and so you’re caving to the NCAA. I think that’s what you’re saying.”
Noem said Tucker is wrong.
“I’ve been working on this issue for years,” she said.
She said she fought the USDA to make sure the sport of rodeo could keep girls’ events, girls events and boys events, boys’ events.
Since November, Noem said, she’s consulted with legal scholars and professors across the country asking how she can protect women’s sports.
Noem said she is trying to build a coalition of states to take on the NCAA.
“I’m sick and tired of the NCAA threatening states, challenging us and bullying us,” she said.
Tucker asked why Noem doesn’t welcome the fight with the NCAA.
“Tucker, you’re preaching my sermon, that’s what I did today,” she said.
Noem said she did not veto the bill but did a style-and-form revision so she can win.
“I’m not interested in a participation trophy,” she said. “I’m not interested in picking a fight that we can’t win.”
Noem said she’s been bullied for the last year by liberals and won’t let anyone bully her.
Tucker said the legislature was attempting to codify what the citizens of South Dakota want. And because of the threats from the NCAA, Noem stopped it.
“The bill, Tucker, Tucker, the bill that my legislature gave me is a trial lawyer’s dream,” Noem said. “It creates more and more litigation and regulation that’s impossible to comply with for families and for school districts and for people going forward.”
Noem said she asked the legislature to change the regulations and how kids prove their gender and not to open the issue up to litigation.
“If we put the collegiate athletics on there, then we will get punitively challenged by the NCAA and then we’ll have to continue to fight them,” Noem said. “That’s what the legal scholars have told me for many, many months.”
Tucker didn’t have time to ask, but the obvious question for Noem would be if she had these conversations for “many, many months,” why did she say she was excited to sign the bill when it passed the legislature?
Watch the interview below: