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Bethany Hamilton to quit World Surf League tour over transgender policy - WHY she is right

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Last updated: 06 Feb 2023
Bets.com.au Staff 06 Feb 2023
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  • Bethany Hamilton has threatened to quit the World Surf League tour
  • The legend has made the decision if transgender rules are introduced
  • Here's why she is right to make the call to quit the sport
bethany hamilton
Bethany Hamilton has threatened to quit the World Surf League (Getty Images)

Bethany Hamilton is one of surfing most's inspirational figures, but she is ready to quit the World Surf League over a new transgender policy. We think she is right to do so!

Hamilton has just one arm after losing it in a shark bite incident at the age of 13. It hasn't stopped her being a major success in the sport.

Now she is threatening to quit with surfing's governing body set to allow transgender athletes - including Australia's Sarah Jane Lowerson - compete in the World Surf League.

Lowerson, who is from Western Australia, was allowed to compete against women in the Open Women's and Open Women's Logger competitions at the West Coast Suspensions Longboard and Logger State Championships in WA.

She won both and the controversy of her participation is now gathering pace. Should be allowed into the women's events at the World Surf League, Hamilton and others could quit the competition.

Taking to social media with a video post, Hamilton let rip and is ready to withdraw from the WSL.

"Today I want to address the news that the World Surf League has officially made the rule that male-bodied individuals known as transgender athletes can officially compete in the women's division," Hamilton said in the video.

"The World Surf League says they are following the Olympic guidelines.

"While I address this issue, I want to be clear, I strive to have love for all of mankind, regardless of any differences.

"But this concerns me as a professional athlete that has been competing in the World Surf League events for the past 15 plus years. And I feel that I must speak up and I must stand up for those in position that feel that they cannot say something about this.

"I think many of the girls currently on tour are not in support with this new rule and they fear being ostracised if they speak up...so, here I go."

Watch the full video above.

Bets.com.au Verdict: Why Hamilton Is Right


At Bets.com.au, we're all for inclusion. But the playing field isn't level when transgender athletes who were born male are allowed to compete against naturally born females.

We have seen cycling go back on their decision to allow transgender athletes compete in women's races due to the natural advantage they have in power and as a result speed.

In surfing that isn't so applicable but the differences in natural body shape and physique is still significant.

Governing bodies across a wide range of sports are under pressure to be inclusive, but that doesn't have to come at the expense of the existing athletes.

Transgender competitions, to go along side the male and female events, are the way forward...and not providing transgender athletes with an unfair advantage. 

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