A women’s pool player forfeited the championship game of a recent tournament because her opponent was a transgender woman.
Lynne Pinches walked away from the table rather than compete against Harriet Haynes at the Ladies Champions of Champions in Wales. Video of the event shows Pinches whispering her decision to the referee. As she gathers her belongings to leave, she is met with thunderous applause from the crowd.
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According to the Daily Mail, the World Eightball Pool Federation (WEPF), the national governing body for the sport, recently changed its strict policy banning all trans women from competing in the women’s category to a completely inclusive policy that does not discriminate based on sex assigned at birth. The policy also stated that trans women competitors could be subject to tests to confirm testosterone levels were at the numbers required by the International Olympic Committee.
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WEPF had announced the original policy only eight weeks earlier, and many have reportedly speculated the change came due to legal threats. Since the shift, dozens of cis women players have advocated against trans women competing with them.
Pinches’ brother, Barry, lauded his sister’s refusal to compete. “Full credit and great respect to my sister Lynne Pinches yesterday for taking a stand and not playing in the biggest match of her pool-playing life because she feels it’s so unfair to have to compete against a trans woman,” he wrote on social media, according to the Mail.
As a result of Pinches’ decision to forfeit, Haynes won the championship by default. Pinches did stay on site to pose with her runner-up trophy.
Pinches is part of a growing trend of cisgender women who refuse to compete alongside trans teammates or competitors. In October, three members of an English women’s fishing team refused to compete at the world championships due to the fact that one of their own teammates was trans.
66-year-old team captain Heather told the Daily Mail that the team had already been “humiliated” with Becky Lee Birtwhistle Hodges on their team. She claimed that the 2018 world championships “wasn’t a nice situation, mainly because all the other countries wouldn’t speak to us.”