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Vermont Girls’ Coach Defends Decision To Forfeit Game Over Trans Player

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A Vermont high school basketball coach, Chris Goodwin, defended forfeiting a playoff game last year against a team with a transgender player, citing safety concerns for his daughters given biological differences.

Goodwin and Mid-Vermont Christian School are now suing the state athletic association after being banned from all sports for his decision.

“I’ve got four daughters. I’ve coached them all at one point in their careers playing high school basketball. I’ve also filled in for the boy’s coach when he can’t make a practice, and I run those practices, and boys just play at a different speed, a different force … than the girls play,” Goodwin said.

“After discussions with the administration and our players and parents, we decided that instead of going against our religious beliefs that … there are differences between male and female, we are created differently, we decided to forfeit that game and withdraw from the tournament,” he said. “And at that point, the state of Vermont governing body kicked us out of all athletic competitions in the state.”

Their lawyer said the state aims to purge those speaking on issues of public concern like gender identity in sports.

“The state is basically attempting to purge individuals like Chris and other family members in the state, from public discourse, from the ability … to speak out … on issues of significant, public concern,” Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Ryan Tucker said.

While the association said the forfeit violated inclusion policies, the school argues it jeopardized fairness and player safety.

Similarly, another Massachusetts girls team recently forfeited mid-game after three players were injured by a transgender opponent, depleting their roster ahead of playoffs.

“We withdrew from the tournament because we believe playing against an opponent with a biological male jeopardizes the fairness of the game and the safety of our players,” the head of school at Mid-Vermont Christian, Vicky Fogg said. “Allowing biological males to participate in women’s sports sets a bad precedent for the future of women’s sports in general.”

“The bench was already depleted going into the game with the 12-player roster having four players unable to play,” a school representative stated. “When the coach saw three more go down in the first half leaving him with five players, he made the call to end the game early. The upcoming Charter School playoffs were looming, and he needed a healthy and robust bench in four days.”

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