Basketball coach forfeits game over transgender athlete amid safety concerns

'I’ve got four daughters,' said the coach. '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.'

Basketball coach forfeits game over transgender athlete amid safety concerns
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On Monday, Chris Goodwin, the girls' basketball coach at Mid-Vermont Christian School, criticized the decision to exclude his team from competition after he chose to forfeit a playoff game against Long Trail School last year.

Goodwin justified his forfeiture in February 2023 by expressing concerns over the safety of his players due to the presence of a transgender athlete on the opposing team. He argued that competing against a biological male posed too great a risk.

“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 told Fox News.

“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 continued. “And at that point, the state of Vermont governing body kicked us out of all athletic competitions in the state.”

Goodwin was joined by Ryan Tucker, an attorney from Alliance Defending Freedom, who is representing Mid-Vermont Christian School in legal action against the Vermont Principals' Association (VPA).

“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,” Tucker said, according to Fox News.

In March, the VPA communicated with the school through a letter, stating that Goodwin's choice to forfeit the game fell short of the VPA's standards for inclusivity and policies regarding "gender identity." Vicky Fogg, the head of Mid-Vermont Christian School, stood by the school's decision in a public statement.

“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,” Fogg said. “Allowing biological males to participate in women’s sports sets a bad precedent for the future of women’s sports in general.”

Last week, during a girls basketball game, the Collegiate Charter School of Lowell team decided to forfeit mid-game after reportedly three of its players sustained injuries caused by a transgender athlete on the opposing team. Footage from the match captured a moment where one of the injuries occurred as a girl and the transgender player tussled for possession of the ball on the court.

“The bench was already depleted going into the game with the 12-player roster having four players unable to play,” a statement from a school official clarified the reasoning behind the decision to forfeit the match.

"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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