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Surf legend Bethany Hamilton makes stance on trans inclusion in women’s sports clear

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Surfing star Bethany Hamilton doubled down on her assertions that trans inclusion in women’s sports should be barred amid controversy over Rip Curl’s new ambassador.

The surfing brand was criticized for using transgender surfer Sasha Lowerson in a promotion last week.

“Male-bodied athletes should not be competing in female sports. Period,” Hamilton wrote on X.

Hamilton made her stance on trans inclusion in women’s sports clear last year after she spoke out against the World Surf League’s (WSL) rules governing transgender women competing in its events.

Hamilton said in a video posted to her Instagram that she would not be participating in WSL events if the rule remains. 

The WSL said transgender female athletes need to maintain a testosterone level of 5 nmol/L for at least a year to participate in the women’s division. Hamilton said in her video she would rather see WSL create a new division.

“I personally think that the best solution would be to create a different division so that all can have a fair opportunity to showcase their passion and talent, and I think it’s really hard to imagine what the future of women’s surfing will be like in 15–20 years down the road if we move forward allowing this major change,” she said at the time.

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Bethany Hamilton in 2022

Hamilton received support from Olympic gold medalist skier Julia Mancuso and Riley Gaines, a former NCAA swimmer who is now an OutKick contributor and host of the “Gaines for Girls” podcast and an ambassador for the Independent Women’s Forum.

Hamilton went on to clarify her points in the comments.

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“I was messaging with a friend who is a part of the (LGBTQ) community and I really don’t think at this point there is a solution that will please everyone,” she wrote. “There are different world views and that is part of life. I may not have the perfect answer. But I do feel the way I do and will continue to stand firm in what I shared here.

Bethany Hamilton smiles

“I mentioned Testosterone because that is how the Olympics and World Surf League decide if you can compete as a women.”

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