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Trans golfer expertly explains why banning trans women from the sport insults all women athletes

Hailey Davidson
Hailey Davidson Photo: WKMG 6 News screenshot

Trans golfer Hailey Davidson issued a withering response to NXXT Women’s Pro Golf Tour, calling its decision to ban trans women “a slap in the face to ALL female athletes.”

On Friday, NXXT Golf announced that it had updated the eligibility requirements for its Women’s Pro Tour to exclude trans women from competing. “Effective immediately, competitors must be a biological female at birth to participate,” a press release from the organization read.

According to its Friday statement, NXXT Golf’s policy update came as a result of “comprehensive research, thoughtful deliberation, and extensive consultations with a broad spectrum of stakeholders in the sports community” and “underscores the organization’s commitment to maintaining the integrity of women’s professional golf and ensuring fair competition.”

“As we navigate through the evolving landscape of sports, it is crucial to uphold the competitive integrity that is the cornerstone of women’s sports,” said NXXT Tour CEO Stuart McKinnon. “Our revised policy is a reflection of our unwavering commitment to celebrating and protecting the achievements and opportunities of female athletes.”

“Protected categories are a fundamental aspect of sports at all levels, and it is essential for our Tour to uphold these categories for biological females, ensuring a level playing field,” McKinnon added.

Davidson, who currently ranks second in NXXT Golf’s Player of the Year standings and was set to enter NXXT’s Dare the Bear Championship at Black Bear Golf Club in Eustis, Florida, this week, responded to the news on social media.

“I have been removed (banned) from the next 3 NXXT tournaments that I had already signed up for and been approved to play,” she wrote in her Instagram stories. according to PinkNews. “They changed their policy mid season, after me signing up already and being 2nd in the Player of the Year race.”

Earlier this year, Davidson was the focus of controversy after winning the NXXT Women’s Classic in Howey-in-the-Hills, Florida. Following her January 17 win, Davidson agreed to undergo testosterone testing to ensure compliance with the NXXT Women’s Pro Tour’s gender policies, which McKinnon said at the time were guided by the frameworks set by the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) and United States Golf Association (USGA) and allowed transgender women to compete.

McKinnon also said in January that NXXT Golf had begun polling players on its tour to gauge their opinions on its gender policy.

With her May 2021 win at the National Women’s Golf Association mini-tour event in Davenport, Florida, Davidson became the first trans woman to win a professional golf tournament. She participated in the LPGA Tour Qualifying School in both 2021 and 2022 but failed to qualify either time.

In a March 1 Instagram post, Davidson noted that despite the LPGA and USGA’s policies allowing trans women to compete, trans women have not dominated the sport.

“In 14 years [there] has yet to be a transgender female in the USA actually tee it up and compete in anything but a ‘pay to play’ event and make it to the highest level in women’s golf,” she wrote. “I would semi understand all the hate and threats if there were a ton of transgender women out there dominating at all levels but unfortunately that just isnt [sic] the case nor has it been since the policy went into place.”

“I think society seems to forget just how amazingly good and talented female professional athletes are in all sports,” she continued. “I mean those women are just insanely good and I can only dream of working towards playing alongside of them one day but in reality that is always a longshot and will require all I have even for the tiniest of chances.”

Davidson echoed those statements in another Instagram stories post responding to Friday’s NXXT decision. “You know what really bugs me is that people think I win just by showing up,” she wrote. “This is such a slap in the face to ALL female athletes being told that any male can transition and beat them regardless of the life of hard work those women put in.”

“You think you’re attacking me, but you’re actually attacking and putting down ALL other female athletes,” she added.

Davidson, who in January said that she received multiple death threats on social media after her NXXT win, continued: “You can scream at me, threaten me, throw insults at me, and even ban me BUT I will ALWAYS get back up and keep fighting to the very end. Hate and bigotry will never win.”

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