LET HER PLAY: AFL missed an opportunity with Mouncey
SOME women's sports have existed professionally for decades before being presented with this situation, but the AFL Women's league has had to make a decision on transgender athlete Hannah Mouncey after just one year, and decided against allowing her to be eligible in the 2018 draft.
It's a disappointing decision for the AFLW competition after so much positive work was done in the past 12 months in developing the women's competition.
The AFL seems to have been caught off-guard with Mouncey's nomination for the AFLW draft, and while their decision was reportedly guided by the Victorian Equal Opportunity and human Rights Commision, they've really missed a trick by truly being an open and inclusive sport by allowing Mouncey to play.
Since transitioning, Mouncey has played several games in the ACT women's AFL compeititon this year, and if it wasn't a problem then, why is it a problem now?
While the issue is complex, the AFL could have really shown it is ahead of the game and allowed Mouncey to play. If no-one has had problems with her playing in the ACT competition, and there were no problems from the players and coaches in the AFLW, then there should be no problems with the administrators in letting her play the sport she loves.
NOT QUITE READY: Mouncey decision due to AFLW infancy
WHILE it goes against everything I believe, I agree with the AFL's decision to not allow transgender AFL player Hannah Mouncey to taker part in the 2018 AFLW draft this week.
This has nothing to do with politics or religion.
Instead it is just a simple case that the AFLW competition, in its infancy, is not ready to accommodate a transgender athlete. The competition is only a year old and already it is facing one of the toughest challenges it will know.
The AFLW has not yet cemented itself as an elite competition yet. It barely has the framework to support a divisive issue of this magnitude.
And if this week is any indication, the AFL has definitely not implemented a strong transgender inclusion policy yet.
Mouncey is 100kg and 190cm tall, vastly different to the rest of the AFLW players.
The AFL governing body deemed her size and weight difference as being potentially dangerous to her fellow players and the integrity of the sport.
While I believe that statement is somewhat naiive in judgment, I can understand that for AFL this is not the right time. I implore the AFL to rectify its stance within the next year and allow a woman, who just wants to play footy at the highest level, a chance to realise her dreams.
It is a shame that this has happened to Mouncey, but at least this has shone a light on transgender inclusion in sport.