International Rugby League Bans Transgender Athletes from Women’s Sports

Getty Images/Kelly Defina

The International Rugby League (IRL) has banned transgender athletes from participating in women’s sporting events.

The IRL announced the ban on Monday in the wake of the International Swimming Federation (FINA) instituting a similar ban on transgender athletes in women’s sports.

“In the interests of avoiding unnecessary welfare, legal and reputational risk to International Rugby League competitions, and those competing therein, the IRL believes there is a requirement and responsibility to further consult and complete additional research before finalising its policy,” the IRL said.

“The IRL reaffirms its belief that rugby league is a game for all and that anyone and everyone can play our sport. It is the IRL’s responsibility to balance the individual’s right to participate — a longstanding principle of rugby league and at its heart from the day it was established — against perceived risk to other participants, and to ensure all are given a fair hearing,” the organization added.

As Breitbart News reported, the International Swimming Federation (FINA) announced an “open category” for transgender athletes to compete, barring them from sporting events not corresponding to their biological sex. The ruling came in response to University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas, who won several NCAA championship races and virtually dominated the season, sparking an intense debate about biological males competing alongside women.

Former British Olympic swimmer Sharron Davies, who won a silver medal at the 1980 Olympic Games, supported the policy banning transgender athletes from women’s sports.

“Once a male has gone thru puberty there will always be a large retained performance advantage & bone structure. Why are we asking females to accept competing with a known disadvantage before we even start? Females are not men with less testosterone. Compete with your sex,” Davies tweeted on Sunday.

“I can’t tell you how proud I am of my sport, FINA and the FINA president for doing the science, asking the athletes/coaches and standing up for fair sport for females. Swimming will always welcome everyone no matter how you identify but fairness is the cornerstone of sport,” she concluded.

However, woke social justice warrior athlete Megan Rapinoe announced that she fully supports the inclusion of transgender athletes, arguing that it prevents suicide.

“I’m 100% supportive of trans inclusion,” Rapinoe said in an interview with Time. “We’re missing almost everything. At the highest level, there is regulation. In collegiate sports, there is regulation. And at the Olympic and professional level. It’s not like it’s a free-for-all where everyone’s just doing whatever.”

“I think people also need to understand that sports is not the most important thing in life, right? Life is the most important thing in life. And so much of this trans inclusion argument has been put through the extremely tiny lens of elite sports,” she continued. “We’re talking about kids. We’re talking about people’s lives.”



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