Athlete Ally Responds to Boxing NZ’s Open Category

August 30, 2022 — Athlete Ally responded today to news that Boxing New Zealand (NZ)’s executive board has announced it will adopt an Open category for Olympic-style competition boxing. Under this policy, transgender and nonbinary athletes will not be permitted to compete based on their gender identity, and instead will be required to compete in the Open category.

“At the highest level of sport, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) affirmed that transgender athletes do not have an inherent advantage in sport,” said Joanna Hoffman, Director of Communications at Athlete Ally. “Boxing NZ’s planned policy fails to take into account the expertise which determined the IOC’s policy, including the fact that every single athlete is different and we simply don’t have clear data showing that transgender athletes have an inherent advantage. What we do have is a clear picture of the real, documented threats to fairness and safety in sports, including unequal pay, sexual abuse and harassment. Transgender athletes are nowhere on that list. They are human beings who simply want to participate in the sport they love.”

“Forcing transgender athletes into a separate, third category creates a situation that encourages those in boxing and all sports to see transgender people as “other,” which negatively impacts the way trans people are thought of, spoken about, and treated both in and out of sport,” said Chris Mosier, Consultant for Athlete Ally and Founder of TransAthlete.Com. “Trans athletes and nonbinary athletes want meaningful sporting experiences, not to be isolated and dismissed. All boxers, regardless of gender identity, should have the opportunity to connect to, learn from, and grow with diverse groups of teammates and competitors.”

Photo by Dan Burton on Unsplash