Victory for Transgender Darts Star Clouded by Teammate Walkouts

Noa-Lynn van Leuven, a transgender darts player, recently won in both mixed-gender and women-only professional darts tournaments. However, she had little time to celebrate when two teammates quit because they didn’t want to play with her.

Winning the PDC

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Noa-Lynn van Leuven, a transgender darts player, has recently sparked controversy after winning the PDC Women’s Series, defeating Fallon Sherrock, and winning a final against Katie Sheldon.

Back-to-Back Wins

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Adding to this controversy, she was able to win in both a mixed-gender and womens-only professional darts tournament, all within the same week.

In Germany and the UK

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The first tournament  was the Challenge Tour in Hildesheim, Germany, against a variety of male and female competitors, while the second was the PDC Women’s Series in Wigan, UK

Refusing to Play

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Today seeing a transwoman compete in any sport will almost always bring some level of controversy, but what shot Noa-Lynn van Leuven’s story into the spotlight was her teammates refusing to play.

Withdrawing From the Team

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Van Leuven’s teammates on the Dutch National Team, Aileen de Graaf and Anca Zijlstra, withdrew from the competition and refused to play with a trans woman.

Releasing Statements

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Aileen de Graaf and Anca Zijlstra both released statements when they withdrew in order to address the situation and explain why they would be uncomfortable competing with Van Leuven in the Four Nations tournament on April 13 and 14.

Time to Go

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Zijlstra wrote, “The moment when you feel ashamed to play for the Dutch team because a biological man plays on the women’s team, it’s time to go.”

Cannot Condone

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Zijlstra continued her point saying, “I have tried to accept this, but I cannot condone or condone it. I believe that sports should be an equal and fair playing field, handled and accepted as such in good conscience. After all, we have worked so hard to be relevant and competitive in this sport.”

Leaving the Team

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In her own statement De Graaf said, “At some point you have to make choices when something goes against your feelings. You have to do what feels right for you. Hence my decision to leave the Dutch team.”

10- Far From Suprising

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Given the current climate surrounding transwomen in sports, Aileen de Graaf and Anca Zijlstra statements are far from surprising, but they were not the only women to speak out about the controversy.

The Short End

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Tennis legend Martina Navratilova commented on the situation and suggested ciswomen have the “short end of the stick” when competing against transwomen.

Struggling With Transgenders

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Deta Hedman, one of the most successful female darts players in the world, also commented on the situation saying,  “I have no problems with transgenders in life,” however, “For many months I’ve struggled with transgenders playing in the women’s world-ranked events.”

For the Women Starting

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Deta furthered her point by saying, “This argument is not to help me at age 64 I could walk away from the sport I love tomorrow this is for the [women] starting their dart careers.”

Fair and Level

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Deta then concluded her point by saying, “If we are going to have a girls or womens world champs it should be the gender of your birth, which in my view is a fair and level playing field.”

Supporting van Leuven

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Despite these statements from Hedmans, Navratilova, Zijlstra, and De Graaf, van Leuven has not just recieved criticism for her participation in darts tournament with many quickly speaking out to support her.

Qualified by Right

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PDC Chief Executive Matt Porter supported Van Leuven’s participation in the tournaments saying, “Noa-Lynn has qualified by right.”

Following the Guidelines

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Porter then went on to say, “Good luck to her, she’s there, deserves to be there and she is there on a level footing with every competitor in this sport. The DRA is our governing body – they follow the guidelines laid down by the IOC.”

A Charged Topic

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From these responses it’s clear that trans women in sports remains a highly charged topic, but van Leuven’s response helps bring the perspective of the person most effected by their statements.

Still a Human Being

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Van Leuven said, “I don’t really feel the need to go further into it. This has been their choice and not mine. I think the only unfortunate thing about this issue is that a lot of people forget that I am also a human being.”

The post Transgender Darts Star’s Victory Marred by Teammate Resignations first appeared on Swift Feed.

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