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Police launch investigation into 'online harassment' of transgender footballer

Police launch investigation into 'online harassment' of transgender footballer

The anti-trans campaigner is accused of 'using multiple online platforms to organise the harassment and abuse of women players'.

Australian police have launched an investigation into the 'online harassment' of a transgender footballer playing in a local league.

The player, whom SPORTbible is choosing to keep anonymous, has been at the centre of a heated debate over the past few weeks.

When Football New South Wales announced that the trans athlete would be welcome onto one of the women's teams, the decision was met with concern from both players and parents.

And their worries were exacerbated when it was revealed that the trans player was not only dominating the league, bagging seven goals to become the leading scorer, but also injured a female opponent during a match.

The governing body has since been inundated with a barrage of written complaints from parents and players, taking action by removing the trans players' name from their official website.

But it turns out these 2700-plus complaints were sent through Binary Australia's petition page.

Anti-trans campaigner Kirralie Smith has been very vocal on the matter, encouraging her supporters to submit emails to Football NSW and Football Australia through a petition page on Binary Australia.

“Keep blokes out of women’s sport!” the since-deleted page read.

“Football Australia thinks it’s OK to have adult men playing against girls and women. Using this form, send your email message directly to the leaders of Football NSW, Football Australia and Football Mid North Coast and let them know, there’s no place for biological males in women’s sport. Please remember to be as respectful and courteous as possible when drafting/editing your email.”

Now, according to the ABC, New South Wales police have launched a probe into Smith.

“Officers attached to Burwood Police Area Command have commenced an investigation after receiving reports of online harassment aimed at a 30-year-old woman,” NSW Police confirmed in a statement to Newscorp.

“Inquiries are ongoing.”

The report from the ABC says Smith is accused of 'allegedly using multiple online platforms to organise the harassment and abuse of women players and footballing organisations, including Football NSW (FNSW) and Football Australia (FA)'.

She also alleged to have published 'private identifying information without consent, otherwise known as "doxing".'

In a video posted to the YouTube channel 'Vision Christian Media', Smith said Binary Australia will register multiple male players in the women's league in a bid to "make a mockery" of Football Australia's trans eligibility regulations.

While the debate surrounding trans eligibility appears more heated than ever, it seems Football Australia is playing by the rules.

As it stands, the governing body's inclusion policy actually aligns with the community guidelines set out by the Australian Human Rights Commission.

Those rules currently state that registered players can participate in the competition that 'aligns with their gender identity'.

So while many have voiced their frustrations over trans women playing in female competitions, under these current legislations, the sporting governing bodies technically aren't in the wrong.

It just goes to prove how complex and deep-seated this issue is – and with no clear answer in sight, it looks like it'll continue to divide people for a lot longer too.

Featured Image Credit: Facebook/Football NSW/Twitter/KirralieS

Topics: Football, Australia