Hannah Mouncey will play state women’s AFLW this year

Footballer Hannah Mouncey has been given the green light to play in the AFL’s women’s league at state and territory level after being blocked by a subcommittee late last year.

Mouncey has released a lengthy statement welcoming the AFL’s decision, but made a point of not thanking the organisation for doing something “open to every other Australian, which science and research has supported all along.”

“While being allowed to play is very much a positive, the line of questioning I’ve received and the circus that has ensued around my ability to play for the last four months has certainly highlighted two things,” Mouncey says in her statement.

“This includes the very much understandable lack of knowledge and understanding around the science involved in gender transition… but more importantly and worryingly, it showed a disturbing willingness by those who don’t understand it to dismiss research and evidence which has been through the most rigorous scientific checks and balances.”

Mouncey also took the opportunity to outline a range of issues facing trans and gender diverse Australians like herself, such as difficulties finding employment, housing and losing friends and loved ones due to discrimination and stigma.

“To all those people, all I can say is you need to wake up to yourselves,” Mouncey wrote.

“I can’t think of anyone in there [sic] right mind who would not just put themselves through something like this, but put those who they care about through it… No one would ever choose to not have a place to live, to have the challenges that trans people do when it comes to finding a job.”

The AFL have also issued a statement on Mouncey entry into AFLW, explaining that last year’s decision to disallow her from play only applied to 2017.

“Eligibility decisions are generally made by state and local leagues in accordance with the rules and politices of the relevant football body,” the League released in a statement.

“However, the AFL strongly encourages all Australian football competitions to adopt the AFL’s recommendation to facilitate the inclusion of trans players at the community level until the AFL’s gender diversity policy is finished.”

The AFL have confirmed they are working towards a more comprehensive policy to promote inclusion of trans and gender diverse players.

OIP Staff

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