Basketball Australia rejects transgender athlete's application to join women's league
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Basketball Australia has rejected a transgender athlete’s application to join a semi-professional women’s league.
A three-person panel determined that Lexi Rodgers would be prohibited from playing in the WNBL1 South basketball league.
She had applied to play for the Kilsyth Cobras who were open to welcoming Rodgers into the team and had told her she would be allowed to train with them regardless of the decision.
The three-person panel reportedly consisted of Basketball Australia’s chief medical officer Dr Peter Harcourt, Director and former Olympian Suzy Batkovic, and Associate Professor Diana Robinson.
Basketball Australia has released the following statement.— Basketball Australia (@BasketballAus) April 18, 2023
Batkovic released a statement, saying: “Firstly, on behalf of Basketball Australia I’d like to acknowledge and sincerely thank Lexi for her cooperation, understanding and patience throughout this process – it’s a complex space that continues to evolve.
“While Lexi is understandably disappointed with the outcome, I know she’ll continue to support her NBL1 South team throughout the season and be an active member of the basketball community.
“As we continue to develop our own framework for sub-elite and elite competitions, we understand the need to have a clear process and continual education within all layers of the sport so we can best support players, coaches, clubs, associations and the wider basketball community.
“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.”
The application was made public by Basketball Victoria back in March and initially left people divided.
Rodgers publicly came forward as the applicant while expressing her desire to return to the sport while appearing on the podcast Under The Surface with Anneli Maley.
She had expressed her desire to join the Cobras to coach Hannah Lowe a week before Christmas.
She released a statement in the wake of Basketball Australia’s decision.
She wrote: “I sought a different outcome from Basketball Australia. I participated fully and in good faith with the process and eligibility criteria. Consistent with the views expressed by so many, I firmly believe I have a place as an athlete in women’s basketball.
“I hope Basketball Australia understands that this is not the end of my journey as an athlete and that it must not miss future opportunities to demonstrate its values. I am sad about the potential message this decision sends to trans and gender diverse people everywhere.
“I hope that one day basketball’s governing body can replicate the inclusion and acceptance I have found on the court with my teammates.
“I hope to one day be playing elite women’s basketball in the future and will continue to work on making the sport I love a place for all.”