Sometimes it's not only OK to quit. Sometimes it's necessary.
That's what some female athletes in England did when they learned they
were going to have to play against a man claiming to be a woman, the
U.K.'s Daily Mail reported Monday.
They refused to play.
They weren't being transphobic. They refused to play because they were
What caused the fear? A female soccer player suffered a broken knee when
blocking a shot from Francesca Needham, a 30-year-old man. They were
afraid that if they took the field against Needham, they could be injured
Two matches in the Sheffield and Hallamshire Women's League had to be
canceled because of the boycott, according to the Daily Mail.
"At least four teams in a Sheffield women’s football league are boycotting
matches after a club fielded a transgender player accused of causing a
season-ending injury to an opponent," The Telegraph of London reported
Needham said he is going to "step down from playing football for the
foreseeable future," according to the Daily Mail.
He said he's doing so for the sake of the team, the Rossington Main
Ladies, based in South Yorkshire. If Needham didn't throw in the towel, it
looks like the Main Ladies were going to have a heck of a time finding
anybody to play with them.
Needham isn't stepping down for good. He's threatening to file a lawsuit
over the matter.
"This unfortunate circumstance has prompted me to investigate pursuing a
case of discrimination, as I believe it represents a breach of the code of
conduct regarding diversity and inclusion, as well as safeguarding of
adults in football established by both the Football Association and the
Sheffield and Hallamshire Women and Girls League," he said, according to
Needham reportedly has the support of the Main Ladies. The team secretary
posted "in unity we defeat discrimination," according to the Daily Mail.
Uh-oh. Women refusing to play men who claim to be women in sports? A
scandal. What will the Football Association officials do? Will they side
with the trans player or the women seeking to avoid being injured?
It looks like the league initially backed Needham, who has played only two
matches this season.
In the first game, the opposing team's manager realized five minutes into
the game Needham was a man.
"It was obvious," the manager said, according to the Daily Mail.
"Unfortunately, the FA allowed it to happen but didn't let anyone know.
"She's quite a big strong player. People have refused to play because they
are worried about the safety of the players. My players were backing out
of challenges as psychologically it's quite a big thing, when you are
playing against a biological man it's quite scary. They were terrified."
It should be a no-brainer. Any female player in her right mind -- some of
the players in the league are under 16 -- would be afraid to play a
bruiser of a man. Men should not be allowed to play sports on a women's
team. Pretty simple, right?
Not so fast. These days even simple is complicated.
"This issue is complex and constantly evolving," the Football Association
told Sky News, "and like many other national governing bodies in sport, we
are currently reviewing our transgender policy for English football to
ensure it is inclusive, fair and safe for all."
You know, the whole diversity and inclusion bit. It's not just an American
The league's current policy is "gender identity should not be a barrier to
participation in football," Sky News reported. Eligibility is determined
on a case-by-case basis.
Male athletes over the age of 16 who want to play women's soccer have to
have blood testosterone levels "within natal female range for an
appropriate length of time so as to minimise any potential advantage."
Testosterone checks are to occur once a year.
According to the Daily Mail, the Football Association has drafted a new
policy on transgender players that is yet to be published. Unless the
league has somehow come to its senses, the new policy will be about like
the old -- nonsensical. A man is -- no matter what he feels like -- a man.
The fact can't be changed. Policy be damned.
By the sound of it, odds are the association will try to accommodate men
who claim to be women and want to play women's sports. Shame on them.
It doesn't make sense and it never will.
Because the policymakers refuse to make sense, female athletes should
simply quit playing teams that allow men to compete against them. It's the
only way to put a stop to the unfair and dangerous practice.
Sometimes quitting is not only OK, it's necessary.
We live in a time where intelligent people are being silenced so that
stupid people won't be offended.
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