Home Australia ‘The disrespect is crazy’: NSW Swifts to meet with star shooter about Transgender Day of Visibility comments

‘The disrespect is crazy’: NSW Swifts to meet with star shooter about Transgender Day of Visibility comments

by Elijah
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A Swifts player wears white netball shoes and long socks with rainbow colors and the word SWIFTS.

Super Netball import Sam Wallace-Joseph has been criticized for her stance on International Transgender Day of Visibility which falls on the same day as Easter Sunday.

Celebrated every March 31 since 2009, the day was established as a celebration of pride and awareness, while also aiming to recognize trans and gender diverse achievements.

Two-time NSW Swifts champion Wallace-Joseph shared a clickbait headline from a Canadian outlet that suggested US President Joe Biden had “declared” Easter Sunday would be the recurring day for International Day of Transgender Visibility in the future.

“Disrespect is crazy. Don’t play with God,” Wallace captioned an Instagram Story.

Some used the day’s crossover with Easter this year to criticize the US president and suggest he was adopting a religious holiday to promote trans rights, but Biden simply showed his support for the day to “honor the extraordinary courage and the contribution of transgender Americans.”

Fans criticized Wallace-Joseph’s post and pointed out the misleading nature of the headline, but the Trinidad and Tobago shooter doubled down.

“I don’t hate people, if you know me you’ll understand… I have a lot of gay friends and I don’t judge anyone based on their gender,” he wrote on X (formerly known as Twitter).

Wallace-Joseph also confirmed he was still planning to play in the NSW Swifts Pride Match in May.

The Instagram story and relevant tweets were deleted following intervention by the Super Netball club, which distanced itself from his comments.

“The NSW Swifts are aware of a social media post that has caused understandable harm to members of the transgender community,” a statement read.

“The opinions expressed in the publication are not shared by the club.

“The club spoke to Samantha to raise their concerns. It is important to note that Samantha listened and will meet with us tomorrow.”

The Swifts wore rainbow-colored socks during the Inclusion Round.(Getty: Mark Kolbe)

The Super Netball league also issued a similar statement, re-establishing its commitment to “embracing diversity and ensuring the sport is welcoming and safe for all who want to participate”, while working closely with the Swifts regarding the sport’s code of conduct. sport.

Wallace and Housby celebrate

Sam Wallace-Joseph returned for the Swifts in their recent Team Girls Cup win.(Netball Australia: Jenny Evans)

These guidelines state that “participants must not mix professional and personal use of social media in a manner that may bring Netball Australia, the game of netball, a Super Netball club or a member organization into disrepute.”

Players must also not “post or distribute any content on social media that contains hate speech or is discriminatory in nature.”

The Swifts have included members of the LGBTQI+ community in their team and worked with advocacy group Proud2Play to deliver their Pride-themed match during Super Netball’s first Inclusion Round last year, adorning their venue at the Ken Rosewall Sand with the colors of the rainbow.

Wallace-Joseph did not play in the game because she was rehabbing an ACL injury that kept her sidelined for the past two years. However, ABC Sport has asked the club if its imported star attended educational workshops related to Proud2Play.

According to the Proud2Play website, “many LGBTQI+ people are disconnected from sport and recreation, as these environments have not kept up with social change,” and up to 80 percent of people experience homophobia in the sporting arena. and 50 percent of trans people report avoiding sports that interest them.

Ken Rosewall Arena Introduces Seat Covers in Every Color of the Rainbow

The Swifts covered the seats at Ken Rosewall Arena in the colors of the Pride flag for the 2023 Inclusion Round.(AAP: Bianca De Marchi)

Chief executive Christine Granger told ABC Sport the organization was disappointed to hear the news.

“It’s disappointing to see any player make comments that cause harm to a community that already suffers from extreme levels of discrimination,” he said.

“It is vital that role models in sport understand the power their voices have and the impact they can have on individuals and communities, both positively and negatively.

“It is harmful comments like this that continue to create barriers to participation in sports by telling our communities that sport is not a safe space for us.

Despite this, Proud2Play said it would continue to work with the NSW Swifts to educate everyone involved in the club about the need for inclusive practices.

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