". . . and having done all . . . stand firm." Eph. 6:13


24 Women Leave Aussie Soccer due to Injuries from, Concerns over Trans-Identifying Players

April 5, 2024

In March, controversy ensued within an Australian women’s soccer league after a team with five transgender-identifying players took the field with no warning. Since adding the five biological male players to their women’s team, the Flying Bats Football Club had won every game in a four-week competition, including the pre-season Beryl Ackroyd Cup tournament where they took home the $1,000 prize. One of the biological males scored six goals in the course of a single game.

And while those circumstances alone sparked outrage, the situation escalated after several female players were injured by their trans-identifying opponents. The fury appears to have bubbled up only recently, but incidents have occurred and worries have grown over the last number of years. In a recent team leader meeting within the league, Frank Parisi of the St. Patrick’s Football Club recalled one of his players getting injured by a Flying Bats player in 2022. “Our player had her leg broken in two places and she’s no longer playing football,” Parisi said. “It was a direct result of a real bad, tall player … he didn’t get a red card. Accidents happen, but this could have been avoided.”

As things have worsened over the years, 24 female athletes decided to quit the St. Patrick’s Football Club in protest. And out of that number, 20 of them said they left because, as Parisi stated, it was better to “quit the league … than play against the Flying Bats male ringers.”

Parents have voiced their concerns over the fact that biological males have significant physical advantages over biological females, and thus they should not be pitted against one another in sports competitions — specifically against their will. But according to the Football Australia’s Anti-Discrimination Policy, “excluding people on the basis of their sex and/or gender identity status from participation in a competitive sporting activity” is forbidden.

Notably, the policy not only makes it hard for concerns to be raised, but actually penalizes those who do speak up. For example, one of the female players was suspended from the league “for daring to criticize the transgender players and for voicing concern over the physical danger they represent to women on other teams,” Breitbart reported. Additionally, significant opportunities have been turned down due to the threat the male players present.

As Parisi explained, “Our girls played in Women’s All Age One, where there were no Flying Bats players. We then by winning that competition should have been promoted up to Women’s Premier League, and our girls rejected that. They didn’t want to play up in the women’s Premier League, because there was that Flying Bats team stacked full of male players.”

The Flying Bats Football Club was founded in 1985 and considers itself “the biggest LGBTQIA+ women’s and non-binary football club in the world.” But with the increase of trans-identifying players representing the rainbow club, many have called for the Flying Bats to participate in co-ed teams as opposed to women-exclusive teams. As one senior club official expressed, “Our girls are here to play for fun and expect to play in the female competition. They did not sign up for a mixed competition.”

Adding to these cries for common sense, Meg Kilgannon, Family Research Council’s senior fellow for Education Studies, commented to The Washington Stand, “Men don’t belong in women’s sports. If there are men on the team, it’s a co-ed team, not a women’s team.”

She concluded, “The fact that girls are leaving the league to avoid injury is a sign that having men on the field with women is potentially harmful to women, and that women fear more significant injury when playing against men. Penalizing the women for complaining is perhaps the most ridiculous part of this situation.”

Sarah Holliday is a reporter at The Washington Stand.