A man claiming to be a transgender female tennis player has pulled out of the Wyoming Governor’s Cup, citing “safety concerns” in the wake of the controversy stirred by his participation in the women’s category at the tournament.
Last week, Jackie Fulkrod resigned from her role as the president of the Cheyenne Tennis Association after unnamed board members approved the inclusion of transgender player Brooklyn Ross in this year’s Wyoming Governor’s Cup tournament.
“I feel like having a transgender athlete compete in the women’s draw is against my personal integrity and what I believe and value,” Fulkrod told Cowboy State Daily.
“I think a man playing against a woman is a very unfair matchup when it’s specifically meant for women in that specific draw,” Fulkrod added.
Now, despite being given the official nod to play in the women’s category, the 27-year-old Ross says he will not play this year.
“It just became more and more apparent that the environment may have not been a typical tennis tournament with things getting out of control and people’s safety at risk, including my own,” Ross said, according to the Daily Mail.
“I was just concerned that this could turn into some crazy type of event where people were protesting,” he added.
For her part, Fulkrod reiterated her stance and said Ross quitting the tournament does not change anything.
“Regardless of the withdraw, I stand firm on my belief that biological men do not belong in biological women’s sports, and in this case specifically a women’s only draw,” Fulkrod said. ‘That won’t change.”
Ross did note that he had received no personal threats but also said that if things did get out of hand because of him, the tournament would be endangered for all players, not just him.
Ross claims that he feared protests would shut down the games and added, “And then nobody who signed up would be able to play. That’s just a total waste. I just want people to be able to play and don’t want it to turn into a crazy event.”
Ross claims to have “transitioned” to being female six years ago and has been competing as a woman for several years as a member of the University of Texas at Tyler women’s team.
United States Tennis Association, which manages the Wyoming Governor’s Cup, has a policy allowing the inclusion of men claiming to be women. The policy was last updated in 2016 to “help ensure inclusive and fair competition for all.”