Basketball Australia consulted experts to determine trans eligibility

Basketball Australia felt they needed to engage an “expert” panel to determine that a male bodied player was not eligible to play in the NBL1 women’s division. Thankfully the experts reached the same conclusion the rest of us did without consulting experts, that is that men are not women.

“An expert panel convened by Basketball Australia (BA) has determined transgender athlete Lexi Rodgers is ineligible to play elite level basketball, including for the Kilsyth Cobras in the NBL1 South competition this season.

The expert panel was led by Dr Peter Harcourt (BA Chief Medical Officer, Commonwealth Games Medical Advisor), Suzy Batkovic OLY (BA Board Member, three-time Olympian) and Associate Professor, Diana Robinson.

BA assesses eligibility of prospective elite level transgender athletes 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”.

Despite reaching the correct conclusion there is absolutely no need to assess or balance a range of factors when it comes to female divisions in sport. Women’s divisions should be for females only.

The statement continued: 

“The balance of inclusivity, fairness and the competitive nature of sport will always be a complex area to navigate, and we thank those involved who have maintained integrity and respect throughout the process”.

It is not rocket science. Men are not women. The only fair and inclusive solution is for players to compete in their natal biological category or for the sporting code to design a mixed or open division. No male need ever be included in the female division, because he is male! No one can change their sex. 

A person can claim to have ‘feelings’ or appropriate stereotypes of the opposite sex, but they cannot become the opposite sex. It doesn’t change their physicality and therefore no male should ever play in female divisions.

Basketball Australia Director, former Olympian and panel member, Suzy Batkovic, said the decision would only affect the elite level and men can still play as women at community level.

“I also want to make it clear because it’s important, that while this particular application was not approved based on criteria for elite competition, Basketball Australia encourages and promotes inclusivity at community level.”

This is a slap in the face to all girls and women who simply want a safe, fair and dignified opportunity to participate in sport. There is never any reason for a male to be accepted as a female. It is a lie and it is dangerous, unfair and insulting. 

While they have made the right decision for elite women’s competition, one has to ask where is the incentive, where is the safeguarding for girls who simply want to play basketball in their own single-sex division at a community level?