Trans Football Player Prevails in Discrimination Lawsuit against Minnesota Team, League
In a court decision that could create serious institutional difficulties for women’s sports at the professional and amateur levels, a Minnesota transgender woman was awarded $20,000 in a lawsuit against a women’s football team that declined to offer her a place on the team on account of her male biology.
When Christina Ginther, 44, learned about the team at the Twin Cities Pride Festival, her reaction was, “Oh, this an LGBTQ-friendly organization. Cool.” At that time she didn’t think being transgender would pose a problem for the Vixen … until the team barred her from playing for that same reason.
The woman got a surprising phone call from the team’s owner, Laura Brown.
“She said, ‘Well, your numbers were good. But in the process of drawing up player contracts, we looked at your social media and found out that you’re transgender,’” Ginther recalled.
Ginther, who was prohibited from being a part of the team “because of safety issues” wasn’t ready to give in, though.
“I hung up the phone and just felt violated,” Ginther said. “I mean, just the sense of, ‘I’m a freak. I’m a defective. I am not worthy to be with this team.’”
In 2017 she sued the Minnesota Vixen and the Independent Women’s Football League because “she wanted other transgender people to know this kind of discrimination is illegal.”
“And the Vixen were arguing, ‘You know, this is just football.’ I was just really happy with my lawyer. He said, ‘That’s kind of the same story. It’s only football. It’s only a bus seat. It’s only a bathroom. But it isn’t… We’re talking about human dignity,” Ginther said.
After Ginther was denied a spot on the Vixen, she found acceptance on another team, the Minnesota Machine, which is part of a different women’s football league, but later retired from the sport.
This week a jury in Dakota County agreed that excluding Ginther violated the Minnesota Human Rights Act, which bars people from refusing to do business with someone else because of their sexual orientation.
The woman was awarded Ginther $20,000 in damages. Ginther’s attorney, Nicholas May, said he believes this is the first jury verdict in favor of a transgender person in a discrimination claim in Minnesota.
“This was a jury of regular folks who came in, heard the evidence, and concluded that what happened here was wrong. It’s something that we as Minnesotans should be proud of,” May told.
However, far from everyone is happy with the court’s decision as Ginther possess a physique that is extremely rare if not outright impossible for women to possess.
“Hell, if Ginther – who stands at 6 feet tall and possess a frame that would appear on the muscular side of a men’s locker room – can compete in the Independent Women’s Football League, why not bring in male-identifying professional athletes such as the NFL’s James Harrison or Warren Sapp?” Big League Politics asked.
Transgender athletes such as MMA fighter Fallon Fox have shown a propensity to outright dominate athletic competitions against biologically female competitors, who are facing opponents with far greater bone density and muscle mass than female athletes.
If the entrance of biologically male trans athletes into female sporting venues is allowed to continue, it could result in a situation where the domination of biological males in nominally female sports becomes a simple inevitability.