On Tuesday, the National Hockey League (NHL) boasted on Twitter about its first-ever “Team Trans Draft Announcement” tournament over the weekend, pushing back on criticism that such a league would present clear disadvantages to certain players.
Fox News reports that the tournament, which took place in Middleton, Wisconsin, consisted entirely of so-called “transgender” and “non-binary” players; the league claims that up to 80 players were part of the tournament. The tweet included the hashtags #HockeyIsForEveryone and #NHLPride.
The original tweet received widespread backlash, some of which prompted responses from the official NHL account. When one user criticized the concept by pointing out that “men [are] playing on [the] women’s team,” the NHL responded by falsely declaring that “trans women are women. Trans men are men. Nonbinary identity is real.”
After further criticism of both the original tweet and the response tweet, the administrators of the NHL account changed the settings so that no one else could reply to the tweets.
“We support any teammate, coach or fan who brings heart, energy and passion to the rink,” the league said in a statement announcing its “Hockey is for Everyone” initiative. “We believe all hockey programs – from professionals to youth organizations – should provide a safe, positive and inclusive environment for players and families regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, gender identity or expression, disability, sexual orientation and socio-economic status.”
The effort by major sports organizations to include allegedly “transgender” individuals has led to criticism due to the fact that such people, primarily men who now claim to be women, often overpower other athletes who are actually of that gender, thus presenting an unfair advantage over the rest of the players. There are also concerns about sexual harassment when such individuals, who still have the genitalia of the gender they were born as, are allowed to share locker rooms and restrooms with players of the other gender.