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Noem Spokesman Slams ‘Conservative Cancel Culture’

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Mary Margaret Olohan Social Issues Reporter
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  • A spokesman for Republican South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem spoke out Wednesday against “conservative cancel culture” as the governor faces criticism for failing to sign a bill banning biological males from women’s sports. 
  • “Apparently, uninformed cancel culture is fine when the right is eating their own,” spokesman Ian Fury said in a Wednesday email.
  • The Daily Caller News Foundation previously reported that the governor was wavering in her support for the legislation due to pressure from various groups in South Dakota.

A spokesman for Republican South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem spoke out Wednesday against what he called “conservative cancel culture” as the governor faces criticism for failing to sign a bill banning biological males from women’s sports.

“Governor Noem is very used to fighting off criticism from the left,” Noem spokesman Ian Fury said in a Wednesday email. “After all, in the past year, she was the only governor in the entire nation to never order a single business or church in her state to close. The left bullied her incessantly, but she didn’t cave.”

“But if any number of conservative pundits are to be believed, that same governor who refused to cave is now caving to the NCAA and Amazon on the issue of fairness in women’s sports. What? Apparently, uninformed cancel culture is fine when the right is eating their own,” Fury said.

Noem sparked a backlash among conservatives when she sent South Dakota’s House Bill 1217, which bans biological males from participating in women’s high school sports, back to the state legislature last week with suggestions.

The Daily Caller News Foundation previously reported that the governor was wavering in her support for the legislation due to pressure from various groups in South Dakota. Though Noem said as recently as March 8 that she was “excited” to sign the bill, her Fury told the DCNF Friday morning that the governor was still weighing the bill.

Fury conceded Wednesday that Noem did indeed face “tremendous pressure from corporate bigwigs and the radical left alike to veto the bill,” but said that Noem “didn’t do that.”

“Instead,” he said, “she returned it to the legislature with suggested changes because she wants these fundamental protections to pass and to survive a legal challenge.”

The Noem spokesman argued that a “less impassioned review of the facts tells a much different story,” noting that Noem has long pushed for fairness in women’s sports. (RELATED: Conservatives Accuse Noem Of ‘Political Theater’ Over Bill Banning Biological Males From Women’s Sports)

“3 years ago, Governor Noem was the only public official to stand with 4-H rodeo when the USDA (under the Trump administration no less) tried to force boys and girls to compete against each other,” Fury wrote. “She won that fight and protected fairness.”

“She’s carrying that effort forward today,” he continued. “But we need to be strategic in our approach to such an important issue.”

During her Monday press conference, Noem brought forward athletes to discuss the importance of keeping biological males out of women’s sports and re-iterated her reasons for sending the bill back to the South Dakota legislature with suggestions regarding the bill’s language.

The governor said she hopes that the adjustments she requested will be made, noting that legal experts told her that the bill in its present form would subject South Dakota to lawsuits the state could not win.

“I’m still incredibly excited to sign this bill,” Noem said. (RELATED: ‘So You Are Caving To The NCAA?’: Tucker, Noem Dispute South Dakota Bill Banning Biological Males From Women’s Sports)

Fury emphasized Noem’s assertion that the bill is “a trial lawyer’s dream, offering all sorts of avenues for litigation that have nothing whatsoever to do with the issue at hand.”

“Furthermore, the bill picked a fight with the NCAA — a fight that renowned conservative legal experts advise Governor Noem that she will lose, especially considering South Dakota’s unfriendly federal bench,” Fury wrote.

Fury also highlighted that a coalition is being created under Noem’s direction separate from the bill which bans biological males from participating in women’s high school sports. Noem said Monday she hopes the coalition could grow large enough that the NCAA “cannot possibly punish us all.”

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