Tennis Association president quits over the inclusion of trans tennis player

The inclusion of a transgender female tennis player, Brooklyn Ross, in a Wyoming tournament has ignited a fierce debate within the tennis community. This decision has led to the resignation of the President of the Cheyenne Tennis Association, Jackie Fulkrod, who expressed concerns about fairness and the integrity of women’s sports.

Brooklyn Ross, 27, hailing from Colorado, has previously participated in college tournaments against women and is set to compete in the Wyoming Governor’s Cup this upcoming weekend. Despite her background and achievements, her participation has sparked significant backlash.

Jackie Fulkrod, in her capacity as President of the Cheyenne Tennis Association, made the difficult decision to resign due to her conviction that allowing a trans female player to compete in the women’s singles category is an unjust matchup. She believes that such an inclusion contradicts the intended spirit of the event, designed specifically for women competitors.

Ross underwent her transition six years ago and has actively participated in college tennis since 2019. She notably completed a tennis season with a Texas college in the NCAA Division II.
‘It’s always been positive and good, I feel sad this woman has resigned over this.’

Fulkrod, whose mother also resigned from the association’s board over Ross’ participation in the upcoming Governor’s Cup, defended her decision to stand down.

‘I feel like having a transgender athlete compete in the women’s draw is against my personal integrity and what I believe and value.’

‘My decision to resign was solely based on the fact that we didn’t have any way to protect our organization or protect our female athletes that are going to be playing in the tournament,’ Fulkrod added.

Fulkrod’s mother also resigned from the association’s board over Ross’ involvement in the tournament. Fulkrod justified her resignation by asserting that allowing a transgender athlete to compete in the women’s category compromises her personal values and undermines the integrity of the competition. She expressed concern about protecting female athletes in the tournament.

Furthermore, Fulkrod raised concerns about Ross using female bathrooms at the venue. Her resignation was driven by her belief that the association lacked the means to safeguard their organization and female athletes participating in the event.

In response, Ross invited her critics to witness the competition firsthand, suggesting that they may not have encountered a trans woman competing before. She emphasized the significance of her presence as a representative for those who may not have a voice, especially for young individuals facing challenges in asserting their authenticity.

Peg Connor, the tournament director and an executive director of the Wyoming Tennis Association, refrained from disclosing who made the decision to allow Ross to compete. The Governor’s Cup tournament falls under the purview of the United States Tennis Association (USTA), which supports an inclusive approach to sports. The USTA asserts that tennis flourishes when embracing diversity, regardless of factors such as age, ethnicity, gender identity, and sexual orientation.

Fulkrod, who had served on the board for nearly two years, asserted that her concerns about Ross’ participation are shared by other members of the association. The debate surrounding this incident underscores the ongoing conversation about inclusivity, fairness, and equality in sports.