Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) joins 'Tucker Carlson Tonight' to discuss signing a bill for girls to play in girls sports and his commitment to protecting integrity of women's sports.
CARLSON: Today, the Governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis signed a bill protecting women and girls in the state from having to compete with biological men on the athletic field. He made the announcement on stage with student athletes from a Jacksonville school called Trinity Christian Academy. At the event, an athlete who has been on this show Selina Soule spoke about her experience. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SELINA SOULE, HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETE: It's very frustrating and demoralizing because it's not fair being forced to compete against somebody who is biologically male, because no matter what, you will never be able to beat them.
And I've raced against these athletes over a dozen times, and every single time I lost by a significant margin.
They have a great advantage over us in terms of skeletal system and muscle mass. But in times in the 100-meter dash, they would finish and us, girls were still at the 80-meter mark. It's not -- I mean, it's not a close race at all.
I mean, it goes with science that males have a great physical advantage over females and saying that science isn't a factor in this issue is wrong.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida joins us tonight. Governor, thanks so much for coming on.
GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL): Good evening.
CARLSON: We've seen bills like this in a bunch of different states come before Republican governors who don't sign them because they came under corporate pressure not to sign them. How much corporate pressure did you come under not to sign this bill?
DESANTIS: Well, it was interesting, Tucker, I think as these bills were going through various legislators, I remember the NCAA put out a statement saying that any state that enacts this, we're not going to hold events there. And so I called the Speaker of the House in Florida. And I said, did you hear what they said? He's like, yes, I said, we definitely have got to get this done yet can't be cowed by these organizations or particularly by woke corporations from doing the right thing.
And so my view was throughout this whole time, we have to protect our girls. It is discriminatory to force them to compete against biological males. And so if the price of having a tournament is that I have to deny equal opportunity to hundreds of thousands of young girl and women athletes throughout Florida, I am much more willing to stand with the girls and to hell with these events.
CARLSON: I think it's a really a great point and you listen to the athletes, and it's -- you know, they're at the 80 meter mark when the race is already won, and they're the top female runners in the state. I mean, it's ridiculous. Do you expect that --
DESANTIS: And Selina made the point today --
CARLSON: Please, go ahead.
DESANTIS: Selina made the point today, she missed New England regionals by two places. In those two places ahead of her were biological males. So she did everything that she could, she put herself in the position. And had they had fair competition, she would have advanced, she could have advanced in her career.
Some of the -- a lot of these women are going to have opportunities to play in college, some of them get college scholarships. But even short of that, these are enjoyable experiences they will remember for the rest of their lives, and just think how you feel to basically get cheated out of a victory.
CARLSON: It is so unfair and we shouldn't -- we shouldn't tolerate it. You haven't. Do you expect to be punished? Do you expect your state to be punished for this?
DESANTIS: No, actually, I don't think so, Tucker, because I think what I think we've shown not just with this, but you know, we did a strong election integrity bill in Florida, actually stronger than Georgia and we just made it clear, we're standing with our folks, we're going to do the right thing.
And so if corporations want to come in and try to bully us around, they are going to go nowhere. It's going to be like hitting their head against a brick wall. The result has been, we've had very little to do with that elections bill. And I don't think we're going to have very much to do at this point here because we leaned into it and we stood strong.
CARLSON: Yes, if they know they can't push you around, they don't even try. That's a really good point. I hope you inspire other governors.