The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) says Basketball Australia (BA) is to be commended for preserving the integrity of its women’s league by declining the application of biologically male athlete Lexi Rodgers to compete in the elite women’s competition.
An expert panel convened by BA determined Rodgers is ineligible to play for the Kilsyth Cobras in the NBL1 South women’s competition this year.
The panel included BA Chief Medical Officer and Commonwealth Games Medical Advisor Dr. Peter Harcourt, BA board member and Olympic silver medalist Suzy Batkovic and Associate Professor Diana Robinson, a sports and exercise physician from Notre Dame University.
“BA assesses eligibility of prospective elite level transgender athletes on a ‘case-by-case’ basis, accounting for and balancing a range of factors, and has implemented this process on behalf of Basketball Victoria in this matter,” BA said in a statement.
“As the governing body, we acknowledge we’re still on a path of education and understanding. 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,” it added.
ACL National Political Director Christopher Brohier said; “No matter how hard you try to ignore the science, biological males have an irreducible physical advantage over biological females when it comes to sport.”
“Basketball Australia has done well to resist the pressure to ignore biological reality. In this case, they have demonstrated their commitment to fairness and the safety of female athletes.”
The ACL called on all Australian sporting codes to adopt the same policy.
Former NBA star Andrew Bogut said BA made the “right decision”.
“It is beyond alarming we live in a time where an ‘expert panel’ is needed to make these decisions,” he wrote on Twitter.
“Don’t let the activists try and overcomplicate what is simple: Women’s sports are for women,” he asserted.
In a response on social media Lexi Rodgers expressed disappointment with the ruling, .
“Basketball is one of the great loves of my life. The basketball court is where I feel safe, where I feel free, and where I feel I belong. The backing of the players, coaches, my club and grassroots members has been overwhelming. I participated fully and in good faith with the process and eligibility criteria. I firmly believe I have a place as an athlete in women’s basketball.”