‘It’s good to have a bit of a voice’: Transgender basketballer reveals identity

A transgender athlete whose eligibility to play in a semi-professional Australian basketball league is being determined by Basketball Australia has revealed her identity.

Lexi Rodgers is seeking to play with the Kilsyth Cobras in the semi-professional NBL1 South basketball league.

Basketball Australia has assembled a three-person panel to assess the application for a transgender athlete to play in a women’s team.

Rodgers was happy to go public with her story and desire to return to basketball via an appearance on a podcast, Under The Surface with Anneli Maley.

“Please be nice. It has been a hard week, so just try to remember that there’s actual people who are affected by these discussions and these debates,” Rogers said.

Basketball Victoria confirmed this month that a transgender athlete had applied to join the NBL1 South basketball league.

Dr Peter Harcourt, Basketball Australia’s chief medical officer and Commonwealth Games medical advisor, Suzy Batkovic, a Basketball Australia board member and three-time Olympian, and Associate Professor Diana Robinson, a sports and exercise physician from Notre Dame University, are the three assessing the application.

Rodgers told the podcast about experiences growing up in Montrose and playing basketball and volleyball.

“It’s good to have a bit of a voice, now, because, when it’s this hypothetical person and people are making a picture of what a transgender athlete looks like in their head,” Rodgers said.

“One, I don’t think it’s me, and, two, I think it’s a bit harsh and people forget that there’s actually a person.

“If you don’t get it and you don’t know 1: don’t yell stuff on the internet about it because it’s probably wrong, and, 2: Go and learn about it.”

Rodgers’ attempt to play as a transgender athlete in the women’s competition comes after World Athletics has banned transgender women from competing in elite female competitions if they have gone through male puberty, the sport’s governing body announced.

World Athletics president Sebastian Coe last week told a news conference that the decision to exclude transgender women was based “on the overarching need to protect the female category”.

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