Transgender Aussie Rules Player Hannah Mouncey Threatens To Sue AFL For Her Right To Play
By Stewart Perrie
A transgender AFL player has threatened to sue the sport's governing body for her right to play in the women's division.
Hannah Mouncey was prevented from entering the AFLW draft back in 2017 due to her 'strength, stamina or physique', according to News Corp.
She's since tried to break into the ACT's highest female competition, however is facing an uphill battle.
The AFL outlined a new gender diversity policy last year that required transgender players to agree and adhere to several principles before being granted the right to play.
It states that testosterone levels have to have been at or below five nmol/L for at least two years prior; players who can reach that level can nominate for the AFLW Draft or apply to play in other elite competitions once they submit fitness tests; and once that application is approved, the player must maintain their total testosterone levels below five nmol/L.
Hannah has raised some concerns about the policy and the way it works on a state vs federal basis, how the tests are carried out and highlighted issues with transparency.
She says calls for meetings to discuss those issues have fallen on deaf ears and has indicated she is prepared to take legal action to sort it out.
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In a lengthy statement on Twitter, Hannah wrote: "This is not a step I take lightly and not one which I have had any desire to take if it could be avoided, however I believe at this point I have no other option if I want to play football in the AFL Canberra First Grade Competition in 2021.
"If I could avoid taking legal action I would, however in the meetings I have had with the AFL I came away each time feeling that they were not being had in good faith; instead I came away feeling simply that the meetings were being held so that I could be fobbed off by the AFL's legal team while they could still say they had a meeting.
"I cannot emphasise enough how much I do not want to take this step. I have no desire to play AFLW, and it is simply my hope that common sense will prevail and that I will be able to play in the AFL Canberra first grade competition rather than having to play second grade.
It must also be noted that the current policy states that even if a player satisfies all criteria the AFL sets out, the AFL reserves the right to refuse the player the ability to play and no reason needs to be given https://t.co/2Q0ASXib1T
- Hannah Mouncey (@HannahMouncey) January 15, 2021
"This is not a step I take just because being able to play football is important to me, but it is because for too long the trans community has been on the fringes of society and marginalised.
"Trans people deserve to be treated with the same amount of respect and dignity as the rest of society, to be made to feel a valued part of the community.
"I and many others have sat back and watched as racism is shouted down, sexism is shouted down; as society and the wider sporting community makes it clear that neither are acceptable in 2021.
"In the age where all manner of abuse is called out the moment it is seen or heard, transphobia it seems largely goes unchecked. This is not OK, the message it sends to trans adults and kids all around the world is not OK, and to not take action when it is so obviously needed is not OK either."
Hannah said she will probably have to play in the B-grade competition if these matters aren't resolved as that level isn't governed by the AFLW gender policy.
Featured Image Credit: Instagram/@hannahmouncey
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