Trans tennis player Brooklyn Ross withdraws from Wyoming cup citing safety concerns

The withdrawal of transgender tennis player Brooklyn Ross from the Wyoming Governor’s Cup has ignited discussions surrounding safety concerns and the atmosphere of the event.

Ross’s participation had previously sparked a nationwide controversy, leading to the resignation of Cheyenne Tennis Association President Jackie Fulkrod, who objected to Ross competing.

In a recent statement, Ross, aged 27, announced her decision not to participate in the event. She emphasized her apprehensions about the event turning chaotic and her priority of safeguarding the well-being of all involved.

Ross stated, “As the event drew closer, it became evident that the environment might deviate from the typical tennis tournament, escalating to a point where safety, including my own, could be compromised.”

Ross further elaborated, expressing concern that the event could potentially transform into a spectacle with protests dominating the scene. This move comes in the wake of Fulkrod’s resignation, and Ross hoped to prevent her participation from becoming a focal point of controversy.

Despite Ross’s withdrawal, Fulkrod affirmed her stance on the issue. She maintained that allowing biological men to compete in women’s sports, especially in a women’s-only category, was unjust. Fulkrod asserted, “My conviction remains unaltered—biological men should not participate in biological women’s sports.”

Ross, known for her college tennis career in NCAA Division II, intended to participate in the open singles division of the tournament. Although Ross reported not receiving personal threats, she acknowledged the potential for protests to escalate and disrupt the event. She stressed her desire for the tournament to proceed smoothly without turning into a chaotic spectacle.

The Wyoming Governor’s Cup, celebrating its 51st year, is a recreational event without cash prizes. Ross’s decision to withdraw stemmed from her wish to maintain the integrity of the event and the opportunity for everyone to play.

Ross’s journey as a transgender athlete includes six years since her transition and active participation in college tennis since 2019. Despite her successful career, Ross found herself embroiled in controversy for the first time due to her participation in the Wyoming event. Ross emphasized that she did not want to jeopardize the event’s spirit and her own well-being.

The Governor’s Cup, overseen by the United States Tennis Association (USTA), underscores inclusivity. Director Peg Connor referred to the USTA’s stance on transgender athletes, highlighting tennis’s commitment to embracing diversity.

Ross’s withdrawal spotlights the complexities of inclusivity in sports and the need to ensure that events maintain their intended atmosphere while prioritizing the safety and well-being of all participants.