Christian Surfer Opposes Rule Allowing Male Surfers to Compete Against Women

Christian surfer Bethany Hamilton, whose life story was depicted in the 2011 film “Soul Surfer,” says she will no longer compete in or support the World Surf League (WSL) now the organization will allow biological men identifying as women to compete against female surfers. The 32-year-old who has competed in the sport for over 15 years now feels she must speak up on behalf of those who are too afraid to do so. “Have any of the current surfers in the WSL been asked what their thoughts and opinions are on this new rule?” Bethany asked whether deciding if someone is male or female is as “simple” as determining their hormone level. She asked how this change would improve the sport and how it would impact female athletes. “The best solution would be to create a different division so that all can have a fair opportunity to showcase their talent. It’s really hard to imagine what women’s surfing will be like in 15-20 years if we allow this major change,” she said.

“I won’t be competing in or supporting the World Surf League if this rule remains.” The WSL said in a statement that it adopted the International Surfing Association (ISA) transgender participation policy ” with aspirations for all of WSL’s disciplines to be included in the Olympics.” “The eligibility of a Surfer to compete either in a men’s or women’s event under this Rule shall be subject to compliance with the ISA Transgender Policy,” the statement reads. The policy by the ISA, requires male athletes who identify as female to maintain a testosterone level of fewer than 5 nanomoles per litre continuously for the previous 12 months before they can compete with women. “The WSL is working hard to balance equity and fairness and it’s important for a policy to be in place,” WSL Chief of Sport Jessi Miley-Dyer told The Inertia. “We recognize that the policy may need to evolve over time as we get feedback and see new research in the field.”

WSL’s policy change resembles the International Olympic Committee’s revised guidelines on trans-identified athletes’ participation in the 2024 Summer Olympic Games in Paris. A section of the document focused on fairness states that “sports organizations may at times need to issue eligibility criteria for sex-segregated competition to maintain a fair and proportionate distribution of competitive advantages among participants” as well as the “particular importance of advancing equality for women in sport and preserving fair and meaningful competition for elite women athletes, which may require criteria that limits eligibility in some cases.” Sharron Davies, a retired British Olympic swimmer, called the IOC policy a “disgrace” in a 2022 tweet. The former athlete warned her fellow women not to “put up with it.”

“Female athletes you will lose your sports if you don’t protest. They are kicking women’s sport away, after years of disrespecting women in sport!” she warned. The debate over allowing biological men who identify as female to compete as women has become a heated debate across all sports, with many female athletes claiming that this puts them at a disadvantage. In several anonymous statements to the sports website Outkick, female swimmers at the University of Pennsylvania expressed concerns about their teammate, Lia Thomas, who’s a biological male, being able to compete on the women’s team after competing for three years on the men’s team. In 2021, Thomas broke female swimming records. During a 200-yard freestyle at the Zippy Invitational in Akron, Ohio, in December 2021, Thomas beat the second-place finisher by nearly seven seconds.

The policy of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, one of the governing organizations that oversee collegiate sports in the United States, allows biological men to compete as women if they undergo one year of hormone suppression. “One year doesn’t mean anything,” one of the anonymous female athletes stated. “What about the years of puberty as a male, the male growth you went through as a man?” University of Kentucky swimmer Riley Gaines, who tied with Thomas for fifth place in the 200-yard freestyle at the recent NCAA Women’s Swimming Championship, claimed the NCAA forced her to hold a sixth-place trophy in a photoshoot so that Thomas could be photographed with the fifth-place trophy. “I was shocked, and I know all the other swimmers who were standing by and listening to this were also shocked,” she told Fox News. “I was standing right next to Lia and he heard it all, and so it was baffling that this could happen.”

Source: Christian Post

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