Inside the new NWHL transgender policy, setting pro sports precedent

On Tuesday, the National Women’s Hockey League unveiled a ground breaking policy for the inclusion of transgender athletes. This the first professional sport league – male or female – to create a policy specifically for transgender athletes.

The purpose of the policy is outlined as, “The NWHL recognizes all forms of gender expression. Therefore, the NWHL supports athletes choosing to express their gender beyond the binary of female and male. The NWHL will use the eligibility guidelines set out in this policy in order to ensure a fair and level playing field for all participants.”

Written in conjunction with the You Can Play Project (YCP) and National Center for Lesbian Rights (NLCR), the league based the policy on the International Olympic Committee’s revamped guidelines incorporating the ‘latest scientific and legal attitudes’ surrounding transgender athletes. In years prior, the IOC required athletes to have undergone sexual reassignment surgery in order to compete as their self-identified gender. This is no longer the case.

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As Voynov leaves, LA Kings remain tone deaf on domestic violence

The Los Angeles Kings are tone deaf.

On Wednesday, while in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Slava Voynov announced he would voluntarily return to Russia; thus avoiding the deportation process that was likely to play out in conjunction with his domestic violence case.

Voynov lobbed the Kings a softball they could have hit out of the park, in order to right an earlier wrong they themselves created, and they didn’t even pick up the bat.

As the domestic violence investigation began against the defenseman, the NHL took action before the team, and suspended Voynov from participating in team activities. The organization did nothing except to issue the standard public relations statement about ‘looking into’ the issues. It wasn’t until Voynov injured his Achilles in a non-hockey related activity did the team act by suspending his contract.

It was a B.S. reason, but at least the guy was finally suspended. Because a player must be punished when he puts his body at risk with something as reckless as tennis or volleyball, but when it comes to a domestic violence arrest, well, it’s someone else’s problem.

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