Professional surfer Bethany Hamilton, who is well-known for her faith and the fact that she lost an arm to a shark attack in 2003, is speaking out against the World Surf League’s decision to permit biological men to compete as women.
The professional surfer confronted the World Surf League for holding an opinion on transgender people competing against women in the surf league in a video that was shared on Instagram.
“This concerns me as a professional athlete that has been competing in the World Surf League events for the past 15+ years. I feel that I must speak up and stand up for those in position that may feel that they cannot say something about this. I think many of the girls on tour are not in support of this new rule, and they fear being ostracized if they speak up. So here I go, questions that I have I want to consider with you.”
Surfing champion Bethany Hamilton has just announced she will NOT compete in the World Surf League anymore if they allow biological men to surf in the women’s events. She’s already an absolute legend but this stand makes her even more of a legend. Thank you @bethanyhamilton! pic.twitter.com/gF2qa7cD84— Robby Starbuck (@robbystarbuck) February 5, 2023
Before pledging not to participate in future World Surf League-hosted competitions if the regulation remains the same or is not challenged, Hamilton addressed the following queries to the World Surf League on her Instagram.
- How is this rule playing out in other sports like swimming, running, MMA?
- Have any of the current surfers in the world surf league been asked what their thoughts and opinions are on this new rule before it was passed or announced?
- Should there be a conversation with the 17 women and all of the men on tour prior to a rule change such as this?
- Is a hormone level an honest and accurate depiction that someone indeed is a male or female? Is it as simple as this? Who is pushing for this huge change?
- Does this better the sport of surfing? Is this better for women surfing? If so, how?
- How did whoever decided these hormone rules come to the conclusion that 12 months of testing testosterone make it a fair and legal switch?
- Why is the WSL statement about trans women competing with women and yet there’s no mention of converted women competing with men?
When the World Surf League approved the International Surfing Association’s transgender policy for all of their tours, their position on transgender athletes competing in their events immediately changed.
“A surfer assigned male at birth who identifies as a woman and has woman/female on her national identity card or passport is eligible to compete in a men’s event or as a man in a mixed event if she has not met the requirements to compete in a woman’s event (such as maintaining testosterone level less than five nmol/l continuously for the previous 12 months) A surfer assigned male at birth who identifies as a woman and has man/male or ‘other’ or ‘X’ on their national identity card or passport is eligible to compete in a men’s event or as a man in a mixed event.”