New basketball guidelines issued after trans player rejected

Image: Lexi Rogers Instagram

Following Basketball Australia’s rejection of trans basketballer Lexi Rodgers’ application, the Australian Institute of Sport is set to introduce new guidelines for transgender athletes in elite sports.

This week, a panel from Basketball Australia ruled that Lexi Rodgers, a trans woman, could not play for the Kilsyth Cobras in the semi-professional WNBL1 South basketball league.

A statement from BA said the “eligibility of prospective elite level transgender athletes” was decided “on a case-by-case basis, accounting for and balancing a range of factors”.

“As the governing body, we acknowledge we’re still on a path of education and understanding.

“To aid us in developing our framework, Lexi will provide feedback and advice from her experiences,” the statement read.

“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.”

Lexi Rogers shares message

The basketball player took to Instagram to reflect on the process so far.

“Basketball is one of the great loves of my life,” she says.

“Like so many people who play every week across the country, the basketball court is where I feel safe, where I feel free, and where I feel I belong.””

She then goes on to explain her process of trying to seek a “different outcome”:

“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.

She goes on to describe the “message” of the decision as “sad”.

“I hope that one day basketball’s governing body can replicate the inclusion and acceptance I have found on the court with my teammates,” she says.

“Navigating” trans athletes in sport

In response to Lexi’s case, the Australian Institute of Sport has assured that it will continue to work on a framework for inclusion.

“Following extensive consultation, the AIS has been working closely with key stakeholders to develop guidelines to help sports navigate transgender issues in high-performance sport,” an Australian Sports Commission spokesperson said.

The Australian Institute of Sport will release the guidelines, which have been under consultation since November, in the upcoming months with the objective of helping sporting codes to establish policies on transgender matters in high-performance sports.

Nevertheless, these guidelines will be recommendatory and not binding, leaving the final decision to individual sports.

See also: Aussie trans basketball hopeful Lexi Rodgers shares her story

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Nate Woodall

QNews, Brisbane Gay, App, Gay App, LGBTI, LGBTI News, Gay Australia

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