Former AFL player Chris Judd has again spoken out against the inclusion of trans women in football.
In an opinion piece for The Age, he said that excluding trans women is a matter of “fairness”.
“Transgender athletes who transition after puberty have more exposure to testosterone during adolescence than [cis] female athletes, giving them longer bones,” he wrote.
“Intuitively, being taller feels like an advantage in a sport like AFL, and there is research to support this.”
He further suggested that trans women, even with low testosterone from medical transition, could retain “lasting benefits for muscle strength and power” from prior exposure to the hormone.
Judd acknowledged that no athlete would transition just to be able to compete in the women’s league.
While noting that those who support trans athletes are at risk of transphobic abuse, he said that the “big issue” is people who oppose trans inclusion in sport being labelled bigots.
“Of the six AFLW players I spoke to around this issue, five felt strongly that transgender athletes shouldn’t be allowed to compete in the AFLW or VFLW and one was not sure,” he wrote.
“But all six felt uncomfortable about commenting on it publicly for fear of being labelled bigots, or for appearing to be insensitive to Hannah and the transgender community more generally.”
Judd said he understood being excluded from sport was unfair but that he thought including trans players was unfair to their cis counterparts.
“I understand that at an individual level, it is unfair transgender athletes can’t play in the AFLW,” he wrote.
“It excludes them just because of the way they were born.
“But if the policy were to be reversed, it would be unfair on other AFLW players.”
He compared the situation to other careers with inherent physical requirements, such as facial symmetry for modelling and height for professional basketball.
“We should continually look to make society as fair as practically possible, but the idea that the world will ever be a completely just place, while ideologically sound, is fanciful,” he wrote.
Mouncey this month announced her return to football after being blocked from last year’s AFLW draft.