AFLW Coaches Back Transgender Athlete Hannah Mouncey's Bid To Join League
Coaches from the Australian Football League Canberra women's league who have worked with transgender athlete Hannah Mouncey said that opposing players "found her physically intimidating, but have backed her right to play in elite female competitions after she was barred from this year's draft," according to Simone Fox Koob of THE AUSTRALIAN. Although her testosterone levels were below IOC limits for transgender athletes, the AFL considered the "stage of maturity of the AFLW competition, its current player cohort and Mouncey’s individual circumstances" and found her nomination could not be accepted. AFL Canberra side Gungahlin Jets women's team coach Julian Clarkson said that he watched Mouncey play many times, and "believed there was a contradiction in barring Mouncey from next year’s league but still allowing her to play locally." He said, "I've coached against her and I feel terribly sorry for her, to be honest. ... She was intimidating to the girls, but she plays the game fair and how it should be played." Queanbeyan Tigers women's team coach Cheyne Webster said that Tuesday's decision showed the AFL was not "ready to deal with transgender issues." He said, "I think it caught them off guard and I think as a result there will be better measures put in the future" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 10/19).