UK Equality Watchdog Issues Statement After Adult Transgender Cricketer Matches Teenage Girl

Britain’s equality watchdog issued a statement on Tuesday saying it was “likely legal” for sports bodies to ban transgender athletes to ensure fairness and athlete safety. .

intervention is then Telegraph A middle-aged male-to-female transitioner, described by his coach as “hitting the ball hardest I’ve seen in the league”, reported being allowed to play cricket against women. He is 12 years young.

According to the report, coaches and parents from six counties sent letters to the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) telling the board that biological males should play first-class cricket with pre-adolescent girls. I requested an explanation as to why I was allowed to compete in

Reportedly, the player has inadvertently injured referees and opponents. It also cites letters from her parents, in which one mother said she was concerned for her daughter’s safety, and another said she would discourage her daughter from playing sports. expressed.

He also said the player’s club had refused a request to the player to “hold back”.

According to the ECB’s anti-discrimination law, it is a violation of the Code to discriminate against a “protected characteristic” as defined in the Equality Act 2010 (such as age, disability, race, or “transsexual”).

The ECB did not respond to a request for comment at the time of publication for The Epoch Times.

A spokesperson for the cricket governing body told The Telegraph last week that recreational cricket allows players to self-identify their gender, but the rules are under review.

“Transgender participation is a complex field,” said a spokesperson.

“In recreational cricket, player eligibility is based on self-identified gender without medical requirements. We will continue to consult with Sport England and other independent experts and communicate any changes once this work is complete,” the ECB added.

Epoch Times photo
A girl practices batting at the net at a cricket ground in London, 11 November 2015. (Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

But Britain’s Equality Watchdog said the Equality Act allows discrimination based on age and sex in sport under certain circumstances.

In an emailed statement to The Epoch Times, a spokesperson for the Equal Human Rights Commission (EHRC) said, “Every sport is different and each case of this kind is different.

“However, the Equality Act allows sporting organizations to discriminate on the grounds of age and sex in sporting activities, and provides that sport can legally be segregated in certain circumstances.”

The EHRC said the Equality Act recognizes the need for “age-restricted” sports in which certain age groups may have an advantage as competitors compared to other age groups. It said it must ensure the safety of the competition or competitors and comply with national or international regulations. To increase participation in competition or activities.

The law also makes provision for “gender-influenced sports, games, or other competitive activities in which “the strength, endurance, or physique of the average person of one sex is Competitor sex in events involving “activity” when it puts you at a disadvantage compared to other people.

“The law also allows organizations to discriminate on the basis of gender reassignment when necessary to ensure fair competition or the safety of competitors,” the statement said.

“Thus, it may be lawful for a sporting body or organization to restrict participation by gender, gender reassignment, or age if it can prove necessary to ensure fair competition and the safety of athletes. there is.”

It’s the second time in a month that the EHRC has clarified its rules for transgender people in sports.

In an unprecedented move earlier this month, the EHRC statement British Athletics Position on the Participation of Transgender People in British Athletics (pdf) said the governing bodies of British athletics had published “inaccurate advice”.

The UKA called on the government to change the law, saying it wanted to reserve the women’s category for biological women and replace the men’s category with a new “open” category that included transgender women. Chair Ian Beatty It said the plan was not permitted under the Gender Recognition Act, which “provides that people with gender recognition certificates must be treated as women for all purposes without exemption from sport.” Stated.

EHRC statement UK Athletics have misinterpreted the law, stating that holders of gender recognition certificates “could legally be excluded under the ‘sport exemption’ of the Equality Act on the grounds of fair and safe competition.” There is,” he claimed.

In September 2021, the Sports Council’s Equality Group will update its guidance on transgender inclusion in national sport, and UK sports governing bodies will choose between transgender inclusion or fairness and safety as a priority. said I need to. competition model.