Lexi Rodgers, the transgender athlete who applied to join the NBL1 women’s basketball league, has opened up on the furore.
Rodgers applied to play for the Kilysth Cobras in the competition but the situation exploded when former No. 1 NBA Draft pick Andrew Bogut sparked a row with a series of incendiary tweets.
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Rodgers has now broke her silence, speaking on 2021-22 WNBL MVP Anneli Maley’s Podcast Under the Surface.
“It’s good to have a bit of a voice, now, because, when it’s this hypothetical person and people are making a picture of what a transgender athlete looks like in their head, 1: I don’t think it’s me, and, 2: I think it’s a bit harsh and people forget that there’s actually a person,” Rodgers said.
“If you don’t get it and you don’t know 1: don’t yell stuff on the internet about it because it’s probably wrong, and, 2: Go and learn about it.
“Please be nice. It has been a hard week, so just try to remember that there’s actual people who are affected by these discussions and these debates.”
Rodgers revealed she made the decision to transition during Covid after a relationship breakdown and her mother was diagnosed with a terminal illness.
“It was overwhelming. It was such a quick move from ‘Oh, I’m going to be a more feminine guy’ to ‘I’m trans, there’s no doubt about it’,” she said.
Rodgers was a talented junior player but had given up hope of playing at a higher level. That was until she was offered an opportunity after her talent was noticed by a work colleague.
She now hopes to play at the highest level, including for the Opals.
“Coming into women’s basketball has been pretty cool, because, unfortunately, I didn’t know many of you before,” she told Maley.
“But now, watching you (Maley) play, and watching people like Cayla (George) play, Mon Conti … that’s where I want to get to, that’s where I want to be.”
Basketball Victoria was on the verge of accepting Rodgers’ application, but Basketball Australia took on the issue after it became public.
An expert panel convened today to make a decision on whether Rodgers can play.
The panel included Basketball Australia’s chief medical officer Dr Peter Harcourt, triple-Olympian and BA board member Suzy Batkovic and Notre Dame University sports and exercise physician Associate Professor Diana Robinson.
Basketball Australia doesn’t have an official policy on transgender athletes but each state has guidelines.
Newscorp reportedly asked basketball’s international governing body FIBA if any transgender athlete would be allowed to play for their country if selected, while Basketball Australia confirmed it had consulted FIBA on the issue.
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