Female Darts Star Forfeits Against Trans Opponent

At the Denmark Open quarter-final, a female darts player chose to forfeit her match against a trans competitor. Deta Hedman is a renowned figure in the world of women’s darts. She took a bold stance against male involvement in women’s sports by refusing to compete against Noa-Lynn Van Leuven.

Deta Hedman is from Whitham, UK. She holds the distinction of being a three-time WDF World Champion runner-up. With a career spanning since the 1980s, Hedman has left an indelible mark on women’s darts. She has participated in prestigious events such as the World Masters and the Dutch Open.

Her recent act of defiance occurred at the Denmark Open in Esbjerg, where she was slated to face off against Van Leuven in the quarter-finals. However, Hedman’s refusal to compete led to Van Leuven’s automatic advancement to the semi-finals.

Days preceding the scheduled match, Hedman expressed her dissent regarding trans-identified male inclusion in women’s sports through a statement on her Facebook page. Hedman shared an image on her Facebook that said, “Women & girls deserve to be CHAMPIONS in their own sports.”

May be an image of 2 people, people playing soccer and text that says 'Women & Girls deserve to be CHAMPIONS in their own sports.'

Hedman’s principled stand did not come as a surprise to many, considering her consistent advocacy for single-sex sports. In a statement dating back to 2023, she had explicitly addressed the issue. Hedman specifically named Van Leuven and emphasized her belief in the importance of maintaining separate categories for male and female athletes.

She wrote: “For many months I’ve struggled with transgenders playing in the women’s world ranked events. I have thought this is wrong since day one.”

She highlighted that while she didn’t mind people identifying how they decided to live their daily lives, she didn’t think men should compete in female sports.

“I’m not close to Noa-Lynn in darts but in fairness seems a lovely person, at Lakeside I met Victoria Monaghan and must admit she is a right character we had banter and a fair few laughs, but my personal view is trans shouldn’t be playing in women’s ranked events.”

Despite Hedman’s transparent explanation for her forfeiture, certain media outlets misrepresented the situation. They attributed her withdrawal to illness rather than ideological grounds.

Phil Barrs is a sports presenter for Online Darts. He erroneously conveyed that Hedman cited physical discomfort as the reason for her inability to compete. However, Hedman promptly refuted these claims and clarified her stance.

She wrote on X: “No fake illness, I said I wouldn’t play a man in a ladies event . Don’t listen to @phillbarrs he knows sweet [fuck all], nor does his reliable source.”

Hedman is not alone in her protest against Van Leuven’s participation in women’s darts. Earlier instances such as the withdrawal of two female darts players from the Dutch Women’s Team, highlight the ripple effect of Van Leuven’s inclusion in the sport. Aileen de Graaf and Anca Zijlstra’s decision to distance themselves from Van Leuven’s team show the deep-seated concerns within the female darts community regarding fair competition and gender parity.