Who is the transgender player in question?
- Hannah Mouncey is a transgender woman who wanted to enter this year’s draft for women’s Australian Football League. Aussie rules football is a contact sport akin to rugby.
- Mouncey is a former Australian men’s handball player, the AFL website said.
- She stands 6 feet 2 inches tall and weighs 220 pounds, the AFL reported.
- Mouncey made the decision to transition nine years ago and began hormone treatments in November 2015, the Canberra Times said.
What did the AFL say?
- Despite women’s AFL clubs interested in recruiting Mouncey — who played eight matches and kicked 17 goals in the Canberra Women’s League, the AFL noted — the AFL declined to let Mouncey participate in Wednesday’s draft.
- The ruling was based on analysis of transgender strength, stamina and physique — as well as the AFLW just starting out — the league said.
- The AFL said the subcommittee that made the decision believed Mouncey would have had an “unreasonable physical advantage over her opponents.”
- The ruling doesn’t preclude Mouncey from future drafts, the AFL noted.
— SuperFooty (AFL) (@superfooty) October 17, 2017
How did Mouncey react?
- “While I am extremely disappointed with the AFL’s decision regarding my participation in tomorrow’s AFLW draft, I thank them for the genuine way in which they approached my situation,” Mouncey said in a statement, the AFL reported.
Good luck to all the girls who nominated for the AFLW draft tomorrow, especially my mates from Canberra. I can’t wait to see you all at the highest level and to play with and against you back in Canberra next year!
— Hannah Mouncey 🤾♀️ (@HannahMouncey) October 17, 2017
What else did the AFL say?
- “The AFL has made very strong commitments to equality and inclusion at all levels of the game,” Tanya Hosch, the league’s general manager of inclusion and social policy — who was on the Mouncey subcommittee — said in a statement, the AFL reported. “We recognize that participating in sport has physical, psychological and social benefits and we are committed to making Australian football on every level welcoming to all in our community.”
How are others reacting?
- “The AFLPA believes there should have been clear guidelines available for transgender players wishing to enter the AFLW draft this year,” Brett Murphy, players association general manager of player relations, told the AFL site.
- “No athlete should face such confusion around their eligibility for an elite competition just days out from a draft,” he added, the league’s website reported.
- Lee Phillips, president of a team Mouncey had been playing for, said the club would welcome back Mouncey since because Ainslie is “all about inclusion,” the Age reported.
- Transgender writer Allison Gallagher called the AFL’s decision “bulls**t,” noting “Mouncey easily meets the International Olympic Committee’s guidelines for transgender athletes’ eligibility — comfortably sitting below the 10 nanomole per litre requirements around testosterone levels.”
Here’s Mouncey talking about coming out as a transgender woman: