Hannah Mouncey, an Australian soccer player, has been denied permission to participate in the Australian Women's Football League, just one day before the draft. The AFLW has ruled that Mouncey cannot take part in the 2018 competition, due to her "strength, stamina, [and] physique."
"The subcommittee carefully considered all of the information provided by Hannah, as well as the available data on transgender strength, stamina, physique along with the specific nature of the AFLW competition," the AFL said in a statement. "The subcommittee’s decision took into account the stage of maturity of the AFLW competition, its current player cohort and Ms Mouncey’s individual circumstances."
According to BuzzFeed, the AFL does not have an official policy on transgender athletes, but is following guidelines on trans and gender diversity inclusion in sports, written by the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission. The guidelines, unfortunately, state that under the Equal Opportunity Act, it's legal to discriminate someone based on sex or gender identity if strength, stamina, or physique come into play.
"Good luck to all the girls who nominated for the AFLW draft tomorrow, especially my mates from Canberra," Mounce tweeted on Monday. "I can’t wait to see you all at the highest level and to play with and against you back in Canberra next year!"
Moncey also told The Age that she was "disappointed" in the decision, but that she accepts it, and would like to "thank them for the genuine way in which they approached my situation."
"Despite not being able to take part in the draft, I note that while I am not able to compete in the AFLW this season, the AFL has given me the all clear to play for Ainslie next year in the AFL Canberra competition for which I am very grateful and look forward to doing in 2018, before hopefully being able to nominate for next year's draft," she added.
The AFLW's decision has been seen as hypocritical by some, who pointed out that the league supported same-sex marriage in the country. Either way, it speaks to the struggles that transgender athletes still go through.
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