An Australian amateur football league is receiving backlash from parents and players who are voicing frustrations after learning that a man who identifies as a woman has been dominating the female soccer league and injuring female players.
Football New South Wales’ League One reportedly has five trans-identified male players, but one player in particular has led the 1st Grade goal kickers table, with seven goals.
Initial reports from The Daily Mail Australia had chosen not to identify the player, censoring images of him and declining to provide his name. However, Reduxx can confirm the player is trans activist YouTuber Riley J. Dennis.
It has been alleged that Dennis, 30, who reportedly plays for Inter Lions FC, injured women from an opposing side in a match last weekend. Reports that a female player had to seek hospital attention as a result of her injury are as of yet unconfirmed.
Football NSW appears to have scrubbed Dennis from their website, replacing his name with “Inter Player,” due to the backlash they have received, but screenshots from the past iterations of the site exist, showing where Dennis was clearly anonymized.
On Facebook, some football fans have taken to their platforms to support the female athletes competing against Dennis, condemning Inter Lions FC for allowing Dennis to play amongst women.
“Biological adult males and it’s not just one, it is several, are playing in NSW women’s state league competitions, which contain teenage girls and young women. Shame on those clubs, who have discarded any morals they might have had, just to sign these things, so as to be able to win, where’s the dignity? You put winning above respect for the competition,” the NSW NPL Banter Page wrote in a post today.
Women’s rights groups are similarly condemning Football NSW for placing female players in harm’s way.
Kirralie Smith, a spokeswomen from Binary Australia, a organization set up to combat gender ideology, condemned the football league in a statement to Daily Mail.
“Football NSW has failed to answer the simple questions, ‘What is a woman?’ and ‘Why have a woman’s division if men can play in it.’ They have failed in safeguarding fairness and safety for girls and women.”
Binary Australia are said to have organized a complaint-writing campaign to Football NSW, which reportedly received over 12,000 submissions.
Riley Dennis was a popular trans activist YouTuber who has 113,000 subscribers. He has since stopped creating content but, during the height of his internet career, he received backlash for a controversial video in which he called “genital preferences” transphobic.
The video, titled Your Dating ‘Preferences’ Might Be Discriminatory and released in 2017, prompted outrage from lesbians who felt Dennis was attempting to guilt them into having sexual relationships with males.
In the video, Dennis, who identifies as a “transgender lesbian,” implied that sexual orientation is caused by societal prejudices and that it is discriminatory to exclude members of the opposite sex from your dating preferences if you are homosexual. Dennis deleted the video following widespread criticism.
Addressing the backlash Dennis said: “These accusations of homophobia make it sound like I’m trying to convince lesbians to like men, but I’m not. I’m trying to show that preferences for women with vaginas over women with penises might be partially informed by the influence of a cissexist society.”
Dennis was also a writer for the self-described “feminist” publication Everyday Feminism where he has published pieces such as “Here’s Why Misgendering Trans People Is an Act of Violence” and “Some Children Are Transgender – 5 Explanations for Why That’s Perfectly Okay.”
After his controversial 2017 video, a petition was launched calling for him to be removed as a writer from Everyday Feminism. The petition gained 1,389 signatures.
“We, the ‘exclusionary’ and ‘discriminatory’ homosexuals and heterosexuals, want to see homophobic and rapist rhetoric such as this removed from the Everyday Feminism platform,” the petition announced. “We want people like Riley to consider that our preferences (read: sexualities) are innate and not up for challenge. We want Riley J. Dennis dropped from the Everyday Feminism team.”
Dennis stopped creating content shortly after and relocated to Australia from the United States to live with his Australian fiancée, Fiona also known as neonfiona.
Women’s athletic competitions and fairness in sport have become a major issue in the debate on gender ideology and its impact on women.
The issue mounted to public attention after a trans-identified male swimmer, Lia Thomas, began breaking women’s records and winning medals intended for female athletes in 2021. Since then, there have been several instances of trans-identified male athletes taking the podium in women’s sporting events.
Most recently, Reduxx reported on the case of a 50-year-old trans-identified male runner who seized his eighth championship title in a women’s category after smashing the competition at the Italian Indoor Masters Championship in Ancona on March 12. Valentina Petrillo had broken multiple women’s running records in Italy, but had failed to earn even a single title when competing as a male.
Despite a global trend of males dominating women’s sport, there has been ample pushback from athletes, activists, and coaches concerned with fairness.
On February 28, a young women’s basketball team made international headlines after withdrawing from their state tournament in protest of a trans-identified male being on the opposing team. The Mid Vermont Christian School Eagles (MVCS) forfeited their playoff game against the Long Trail School Mountain Lions (LTS) after learning that LTS star player Rose Johnson is male, and have since been banned from participating in state competitions.
Earlier this week, a male powerlifting coach’s protest against “trans inclusive” powerlifting policies in Canada went viral after he entered a women’s competition and smashed the women’s benchpress record.
Avi Silverberg, a powerlifting coach who has worked with Team Canada, self-identified as a woman last week to participate in the women’s category at the Heroes Classic Powerlifting Meet held in Lethbridge, Alberta. Silverberg was attempting to highlight the unfair advantage males have when competing in women’s athletics. While participating in the Saturday event, Silverberg unofficially broke the Alberta women’s bench press record for the 84+ kilograms category.
Silverberg performed the defiant act while the current record holder, a trans-identified male, was in attendance.
As a response to the backlash against Dennis participating in the women’s leagues, Football NSW have released a statement on their transgender inclusion policy, writing on their website that they would expedite the development of transgender sports teams but would also introduce LGBTQI training.
“To support the inclusion of transgender and gender-diverse people in Football, Football Australia has initiated the development process for a High Performance Inclusion Policy, specifically balancing the needs and inclusion of transgender and gender-diverse people in the sport, whilst ensuring we maintain the integrity of elite competitive football.”
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