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Golf Tour CEO Reveals Transgender Ban Came After Pro Females Were Defeated by Male and Had an 'Overwhelming' Response

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The NXXT women’s golf tour listened to its players before announcing last week that only athletes who were born female could compete, tour CEO Stuart McKinnon said Sunday.

“We listened to the players on the tour. We conducted an anonymous player pool and overwhelming feedback came back that they wanted us to change our gender policy guidelines,” McKinnon said on “Fox & Friends Weekend,” according to Fox News.

The Friday ruling came about two months after Hailey Davidson, who had been playing golf as a man until 2015 when Davidson underwent a transition, attracted controversy after winning a NXXT golf tour tournament in January, according to the Associated Press.

The NXXT tour can become a ladder to the LPGA because the top five golfers on the NXXT leaderboard when the season ends may be able to compete in the Epson Tour, which is a qualifying tour one step below the LPGA.

The tour had announced on its website that “competitors must be a biological female at birth to participate. This decision underscores the organization’s commitment to maintaining the integrity of women’s professional golf and ensuring fair competition.”

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In the release, McKinnon said the new policy was “a reflection of our unwavering commitment to celebrating and protecting the achievements and opportunities of female athletes.”

On Sunday, McKinnon said the decision took time and research.

“We didn’t make this decision lightly. We knew it was a polarizing topic and would evoke a lot of emotions from people out there,” McKinnon said.

“I can guarantee this was not a knee-jerk reaction to any outside forces. I just bought this tour a year ago, and Davidson provided us with a letter of eligibility from the LPGA and from the USGA, and it took some time to educate myself … on the process that they followed and took some time for myself to learn about this.”

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“When Hailey Davidson did win, what it did was it brought out more feedback from our players on tour, telling us that they would not play anymore and telling us that other players that they knew of weren’t playing on the tour because of our gender policy guidelines,” he said.

McKinnon said since Davidson’s January victory, he and others “spoke to many stakeholders in the golfing community and the sporting community at large from coaches and players and doctors and scientists, and educated ourselves,” he said.

“It really came down to one principle, and that was about competitive fairness,” he said. “We felt that the biological male had a physiological advantage against the woman on the tour, and we made the decision to change.”

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Davidson attacked the decision, announced Friday on International Women’s Day, in an Instagram stories post.

“Effective immediately, I have been removed (banned) from the next 3 NXXT tournaments that I had already signed up for and been approved to play,” he wrote, according to Golf Monthly.

“Do people not understand how good LPGA players are and how far they hit it? As a player, if you are upset at me getting to play with my distance (245 yards) then you will never make it to the LPGA Tour where they are that much better and longer than me,” Davidson wrote.

“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 till the very end. Hate and bigotry will never win,” he wrote.

“What really bugs me is that people think I win just by showing up. 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,” Davidson wrote.


This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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