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Trans athlete withdraws from AFLW draft, blasts league’s ‘inclusion’ effort

Hannah Mouncey has tried to be selected in the AFLW draft but says the league has treated her ‘like shit.’

VFLW Rd 14 - Darebin v Southern Saints Photo by Graham Denholm/AFL Media/Getty Images

For the last couple of years, Hannah Mouncey has been trying to enter the draft of the Australian Rules Football Women’s League (AFLW). Since she announced her interest in entering the league, the AFLW has put up every possible roadblock to keep her from being drafted. Now Mouncey has announced she is withdrawing her candidacy from this year’s draft, and she has some choice words for the AFLW.

The AFLW’s new transgender and non-binary policy, which they released last week, says the league must be provided with evidence of the candidate’s reduced strength and speed, as well as information on the candidate’s weight. That last part has drawn ire from critics saying the league is body-shaming women. This subjective assessment of strength and speed is also a departure from many other trans policies around the world.

The policy also says the candidate must provide evidence that the candidate’s testosterone level has been below 5 nmol/L for 24 months, something that Mouncey has done and that she provided evidence of on Twitter. In fact, her testosterone level has been a tiny fraction of that limit.

The AFLW’s year-plus long fight with Mouncey has finally claimed its victim.

“The AFL has treated me like shit, with every effort made to wear me down to a point where I couldn’t continue,” Mouncey said on Twitter. “Eventually, what has gone on behind the scenes will come out, and it paints a sad picture of an organisation with no leadership, who cares only for its corporate image above al else. There are a number of things I can’t risk by continuing this fight, which are fare more important than football.”

Mouncey currently plays for Darebin in the Victorian Women’s Football League.