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Mid-Vermont Girls Basketball team. Courtesy photo.

Coach defends decision to forfeit game against team with transgender player

A Christian basketball coach in Vermont is defending his decision to forfeit a game against a team with a transgender player.

“I’ve got four daughters,” said Chris Goodwin, coach of the girls’ team at the Mid-Vermont Christian School. ”I’ve coached them all at one point in their careers playing high school basketball. I’ve also filled in for the boys’ coach when he can’t make a practice, and I run those practices, and boys just play at a different speed, a different force than the girls play. It’s a different game.”

The private school declined to play Long Trail in a playoff game because it believed that competing against a team with a biological male “jeopardizes the fairness of the game and the safety of our players,” according to the “New York Post.”

The Vermont Principals’ Association banned Mid-Vermont from all athletic events as a result of the team’s refusal to face the trans player. and the school later filed a lawsuit against state officials. The association told CNN that the school “has every right to teach its beliefs to its own students. It cannot, however, impose those beliefs on students from other public and private schools; deny students from other schools the opportunity to play or hurt students from other schools because of who those students are.”

“After discussions with the administration and our players and parents, we decided that instead of going against our religious beliefs that there are differences between male and female, we are created differently, we decided to forfeit that game and withdraw from the tournament,” Goodwin said. “And at that point, the state of Vermont governing body kicked us out of all athletic competitions in the state.”

The small school said it was “irreparably harmed by being denied participation” and “losing out on playing competitive sports as well as academic competitions,” according to a lawsuit filed by Alliance Defending Freedom.

“The state is entitled to its own views, but it is not entitled, nor is it constitutional, to force private, religious schools across the state to follow that orthodoxy as a condition to participating in Vermont’s tuition program and the state’s athletic association,” the lawsuit said.

–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice


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