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A transgender female basketball player – born a biological male – has been ruled ineligible to compete in the WNBL1 South women’s semi-professional league in Australia. The ruling comes just a month after former NBA player Andrew Bogut brought the proposal from the trans player to the forefront.
Basketball Australia, the governing body for basketball in the country, ruled Lexi Rodgers ineligible to compete for the Kilsyth Cobras. Basketball Australia director Suzy Batkovic shared a statement about the ruling while making it clear that the decision is strictly about keeping men out of women’s basketball.
“Firstly, on behalf of Basketball Australia I’d like to acknowledge and sincerely thank Lexi for her cooperation, understanding and patience throughout this process – it’s a complex space that continues to evolve,” Batkovic said in a news release.
“I also want to make it clear because it’s important, that while this particular application was not approved based on criteria for elite (or sub-elite) competition, Basketball Australia encourages and promotes inclusivity at community level where the balance of physical activity, health and wellbeing and social benefits can outweigh the competitive nature of sport,” the statement continued.
While Batkovic’s statement about the ruling makes it sound as if this is a blanket decision to keep biological men out of women’s basketball, the governing body isn’t willing to go there yet.
Basketball Australia says that it evaluates transgender athletes’ availability on a “case-by-case basis accounting for and balancing a range of factors, and has implemented this process on behalf of Basketball Victoria in this matter.”
Andrew Bogut Must Be Pleased With This Ruling
Last month, a report from Sky News confirmed that the WNBLQ had received an application from a transgender woman to play in the NBL1 South competition. At the time, all signs pointed to the biological man being allowed to take the hardwood with the women.
Those who possess common sense and live in the real world understand that there is nothing fair about biological men competing against women in sport. Bogut subscribes to that same mindset and called on the girl dads out there to stand up for women’s sports.
Basketball Australia clearly had a change of heart and came to the very simple and correct conclusion that biological men should not compete against women.