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A professional golf tour bans trans athletes from competing in women's tournaments

NXXT Women's Pro Tour announced the policy change following criticism over trans golfer Hailey Davidson's recent win.

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The NXXT Women's Pro Tour professional golf circuit announced it has banned trans people from competing in the women's category. Its goal is to protect "the achievements and opportunities of female athletes" and ensure that "competition remains equitable."

"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. 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," said Stuart McKinnon, CEO of the NXXT Women's Pro Tour, in a statement.

This new policy, enacted last Friday, took effect on the same day, coinciding with the celebration of International Women's Day. "NXXT Golf is honored to lead in promoting and advancing women's golf, providing a platform that not only highlights the exceptional talent of women golfers worldwide but also ensures the competition remains equitable for all of our players," McKinnon added.

The decision came after a trans golfer's controversial win

The NXXT Women's Pro Tour policy update is the result of "comprehensive research, thoughtful deliberation, and extensive consultations with a broad spectrum of stakeholders in the sports community," as the professional tour explained in the statement. This research and deliberation comes after trans golfer Hailey Davidson's controversial win in January at a championship held near Orlando (Florida).

Davidson took to social media to respond to the NXXT Women's Pro Tour's new policy. In a post on his Instagram account that was later reported by the Washington Examiner, the golfer claimed that the policy not only attacks people like him, but others as well:

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. 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.

Recently, there has been a lot of controversy around whether trans athletes should be allowed to compete in women's sports. The most popular case is that of trans swimmer Lia Thomas. One of her rivals, Riley Gaines, has criticized the fact that people who are or have undergone sex change procedures are allowed to compete against biological women. Former tennis player Martina Navratilova, former swimmer Donna de Varona, and sprinter Benita Fitzgerald Brown are other athletes who agree with Gaines and have spoken out.