Jackie Fulkrod, the former president of the Cheyenne Tennis Association board, has resigned from her position in protest over the participation of a transgender female player in the Wyoming Governor’s Cup. The player in question is Brooklyn Ross, a collegiate athlete, who was permitted to compete in the women’s draw. Afterwards, Ross withdrew from the tournament, citing safety concerns and to prevent “a circus” atmosphere at the event.
Jackie Fulkrod: “I think a man playing against a woman is a very unfair matchup.”
As NY Post reports, Fulkrod expressed her concerns about the fairness of the competition, arguing that allowing a transgender athlete to play against women goes against her personal integrity and beliefs. According to Fulkrod, the tournament’s women’s draw is specifically designed for female athletes, and having a male-to-female transgender athlete compete creates an unfair matchup.
The Wyoming Governor’s Cup is a low-level event for advanced tennis players, and a good performance can positively impact their rankings within the United States Tennis Association (USTA), which college coaches often consider during recruitment.
Who is the transgender tennis player?
Brooklyn Ross, 27, is a 6-foot-tall tennis player who transitioned six years ago and has since played in various tournaments across the country, labeling all her previous experiences as “positive and good”. She sees herself as a testament to the inclusive spirit of tennis, with the USTA actively advocating for a diverse and open approach to the sport.
USTA accepts transgender athletes
The USTA released a statement that emphasizes the importance of embracing inclusion, welcoming athletes regardless of their age, ethnicity, race, religious background, sexual orientation, or gender identity.
Martina Navratilova, Caitlyn Jenner think restrictions are necessary
While the USTA embraces inclusion, tennis legend Martina Navratilova firmly opposes absolute transgender equality in women’s sports, claiming that transgender individuals who have experienced all or part of male puberty have an unfair advantage. Even Caitlyn Jenner, a trans woman and former Olympic gold medal-winning decathlete, said that male-to-female athletes who want to compete in women’s leagues are giving a bad reputation to transgender people and that women’s sports should be protected from this unfair competition.
Who was the first transgender tennis player?
Although there are no transgender players on the Hologic WTA Tour right now, in 1970s a male-to-female competed against other professional women’s tennis players. After playing the US Open as a man five times from 1953 to 1960, Renée Richard (born Richard Raskind) had a gender reassignment surgery at the age of 40 in 1975 and then won a legal battle to participate in the US Open women’s draw. At the 1977 US Open, Renée lost in the first round of ladies’ singles, but reached the doubles final partnered with Betty Ann Stuart. After retiring at the age of 47, Renée coached Martina Navratilova to three Grand Slam singles titles.
Controversial Nike sports bra ad
Nike recently chose transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney for their sports bra campaign, which caused an outrage in the women’s sports community. A number of female athletes raised their voices, attacking Nike’s move as misogynic and a sad mockery of biological women.
College swimming champion Riley Gaines considered that Nike sent a message that men can do everything better, while Olympic gold medal swimmer Nancy Hogshead claims that women earn just one percent of the money spent by sports brand on advertising and that this paid partnership had robbed the opportunity from so many phenomenal and hard-working, biological women, adding that it’s “a male takeover.”