American surfing icon Bethany Hamilton has vowed to boycott the World Surf League’s (WSL) professional tour over a rule change that allows biological males who identify as women to compete against female surfers.
Hamilton, who lost her arm to a shark attack when she was 13, survived and has been surfing competitively for 15 years.
She took to Instagram over the weekend to express her views after the WSL announced it would comply with the policies of the International Surfing Association (ISA) when it comes to transgender surfers.
The ISA policy states that “Athletes born men can compete in female divisions if they maintain a testosterone level less than five nmol/L (nanomoles per litre) for 12 months.”
“Is a hormone level an honest and accurate depiction that someone indeed is a male or female? Is it as simple as this?” Hamilton asked in her Instagram video.
She also asked several other questions:
“How is this rule playing out in other sports like swimming, running and MMA? Have any of the current surfers in the World Surf League been asked what their thoughts and opinions are on this new rule before it was passed or announced? Should there be a conversation with the 17 women and all of the men on tour on tour prior to a rule change such as this?”
She continued: “Who is pushing for this huge change? Does this better the sport of surfing? Is this better for the women in surfing? If so, how?”
Hamilton gave her life to Jesus Christ at age 5, she told BGEA in a 2011 interview. As a young girl growing up in Hawaii, she was surrounded by a family who loved Jesus and loved surfing. She followed in their footsteps faithwise, and entered her first competition at age 8.
She has credited Christ for getting her through the shark attack.
“It was Jesus Christ who gave me peace when I was attacked,” she told BGEA. “I just kept remembering, ‘The peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus,” (Philippians 4:6-8).
In her Instagram video, she said she strives to love all of mankind, no matter what their differences. But as a professional athlete who has been competing in the WSL events for the last 15-plus years, she is concerned by this new rule change.
She decided to go public in order to “stand up and speak up” for those who feel threatened to express their views.
“I think many of the girls who are on tour are not in support of this new rule, and they fear being ostracized if they speak up,” she said.
“I personally won’t be competing in or supporting the World Surf League if this rule remains,” Hamilton said.
She argued instead that a new division should be created solely for transgender athletes in order to protect the female division.
Franklin Graham expressed his support for Hamilton on Facebook today.
“Who makes these rules anyway? It’s tragic. I don’t understand why all women don’t stand up in revolt! Pray for Bethany and other brave young women like her who are trying to defend what even common sense tells you is right. Thank you for taking a stand Bethany—I hope they will decide to change this new rule.”
Judge Phil Ginn, president of Southern Evangelical Seminary, based in Charlotte, North Carolina, told Fox News Digital via email on Monday morning, “Bethany Hamilton captured our hearts and minds many years ago as the nation watched her triumph over her serious injuries and subsequent inherent fears to get back on her surfboard and learn to excel again in the sport she obviously loves.
“Casting aside the moral issues for a moment, no one who is thinking right can come to the conclusion that creating an obvious advantage for one group over another in sports or any other venue is a good idea. Yet that is exactly what we are now being told by our own government that needs to be done.”
Trent Talbot, CEO of Brave Books in Texas, which recently published Hamilton’s children’s book, told Fox News Digital on Sunday, “What an act of bravery. I stand with Bethany Hamilton and her choice to not participate in the World Surf League if they allow men to compete in the women’s division.”
Talbot added, “God designed males and females differently with a purpose—and when we reject this, we reject God. Men do not belong in women’s sports.”
Source: Standing For Christ And Common Sense: Surfer Bethany Hamilton to Boycott WSL Tour Due to New Transgender Rule | Harbingers Daily