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Pro Surfer Bethany Hamilton Faces Backlash After Refusing To Compete With Transgender Athletes

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Source: FS2/Mandatory Credit: FayesVision/WENN/Newscom/The Mega Agency

Feb. 7 2023, Published 1:00 p.m. ET

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Star athlete Bethany Hamilton took a firm stance against the new transgender policy, revealing she will not be competing in future World Surf League events if it is upheld.

RadarOnline.com has learned the famed surfer, who lost her arm in a 2003 shark attack 20 years ago and bravely returned to the professional sport, shared two videos explaining her point of view and stating that she knew there would be backlash in response.

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surfer bethany hamilton addresses transgender policy wsl events
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Hamilton spoke out after the WSL said transgender female athletes need to maintain a testosterone level of 5 nmol/L for at least a year to compete in the women's division, a rule that is being celebrated by some and criticized by others as a debate ensued.

"Today, I want to address the news that the World Surf League has officially made the rule that male-bodied individuals known as transgender athletes can officially compete in the women's division," she began. "While I address this issue, I want to be clear, I strive to have love for all of mankind, regardless of any differences."

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surfer bethany hamilton addresses transgender policy wsl events
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Hamilton explained that it concerns her as a professional athlete who has been competing in such events for nearly two decades, adding that she felt compelled to address the matter for those who fear being "ostracized."

"How is this rule playing out in other sports, like swimming, running and MMA?" she questioned. "How did whoever decided these hormone rules come to the conclusion that twelve months of testing testosterone make it a fair and legal switch?"

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Hamilton offered what she felt is the best solution, suggesting to "create a different division so that all can have a fair opportunity to showcase their passion and talent."

Olympic gold medalist skier Julia Mancuso, surfing champion Shane Dorian, and NCAA All-American swimmer Riley Gaines all showed Hamilton support for speaking out.

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Critics and some members of the LGBTQ community said there was not a simple answer while Hamilton took to social media with a second video addressing the public disapproval of her first post.

"I knew the hammer of mean and cruel and harshness would be thrown down on me for not going with the flow, for having a different opinion, for being open and sharing my questions, thoughts and my opinion on the new rules," she said.

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