NHL slaps down fan who questioned Team Trans Draft Tournament

‘On thin ice!’ NHL faces backlash over pro-transgender tweet after slapping down fan who asked why ‘men are playing on a women’s team’ as it launches Team Trans Draft Tournament in Wisconsin

  • The league tweeted pictures from a ‘Team Trans Draft’ tournament in Wisconsin
  • Tournament was played by teams formed entirely of trans or nonbinary players
  • Despite NHL tweet clarifying who was playing, one user asked: ‘So, men playing on a woman’s team?’
  • NHL responded: ‘Trans women are women. Trans men are men. Nonbinary identity is real.’
  • Both tweets gained thousands of responses and come amid ongoing debate about the participation of transgender athletes in sport
  • One person joked ‘the NHL is on thin ice’ while another said ‘stop erasing women’

The National Hockey League has slapped down a fan over their response to a tweet about a hockey tournament made up entirely of transgender and non-binary players.

The league tweeted pictures from a ‘Team Trans Draft’ tournament in Wisconsin

Despite the NHL stating the tournament was ‘comprised entirely of transgender and nonbinary players’, one user responded: ‘So, men playing on a woman’s [sic] team?’

A reply from the NHL Twitter account said: ‘Trans women are women. Trans men are men. Nonbinary identity is real.’

The response prompted thousands of responses from people both in support of, and against, the NHL’s position. The tweet comes amid fierce ongoing discussion about the participation of trans athletes in sport.

The tournament was held through Saturday and Sunday and was hosted by Team Trans Ice Hockey, which describes itself as ‘the first-ever ice hockey team made up entirely of transgender athletes’.

A Facebook page said six teams competed in the inaugural event. Some conservative commentators mocked the NHL for promoting the event and its follow-up tweet.

The tweet was triggered after the NHL posted its support for the Team Trans Draft Tournament in Middleton, Wisconsin, which was made up entirely of transgender and nonbinary players

The tweet was triggered after the NHL posted its support for the Team Trans Draft Tournament in Middleton, Wisconsin, which was made up entirely of transgender and nonbinary players

Both tweets triggered a flurry of responses from people who support the NHL's position and others who reject it

Both tweets triggered a flurry of responses from people who support the NHL’s position and others who reject it

The NHL tweeted several photos from the event, which took place in Wisconsin over the weekend

The NHL tweeted several photos from the event, which took place in Wisconsin over the weekend

One replied: ‘The NHL is on thin ice,’ while another wrote: ‘Sir, this is an ice hockey league.’

TV and radio host Dana Loesch said: ‘Stop erasing women.’

In November last year, the NHL website featured an article about a match between Team Trans Ice Hockey and the Madison Gay Hockey Association.

For that event, the NHL donated to Team Trans to help pay travel costs for players who traveled from across the US, Canada and Japan.

Trans hockey player Harrison Browne said the 2021 event showed ‘that trans athletes, it’s not controversial at all for us to play sports’.

Browne, who used to play in women’s competitions then came out as a transgender man in 2016, said: ‘We should be able to play sports. Sports is such an integral part of a lot of people’s lives.

‘I wouldn’t be who I am today without hockey and it’s a shame that people are trying to take that away from kids.’

The NHL has previously donated to Team Trans Ice Hockey so it could help players from the US, Canada and Japan attend a tournament in 2021

The NHL has previously donated to Team Trans Ice Hockey so it could help players from the US, Canada and Japan attend a tournament in 2021

The twitter row comes amid an ongoing debate about how trans athletes compete in sports.

On Tuesday, Olympic gold medalist Caitlyn Jenner called for a change to Washington State’s ‘woke’ rules that allowed a transgender runner to climb to the top of the girls’ rankings after she transitioned.

The 15-year-old athlete, who was born male and has since transitioned to female, finished in 72nd place in last year’s league finals while competing as a boy.

Now, as a sophomore at the Seattle Academy high school competing as a girl, she broke her school’s 5,000-meter girl’s cross country category and ranks first in her league – and clocked a time that would have ranked 48th had she competed in the boy’s division.

‘We have to keep it fair,’ Jenner – a contributor to Fox News – told the network.

‘This issue is not going to go away, but I really feel the state of Washington has to make it a little bit tougher. [Transgender students] cannot just identify [as transgender] and then compete against the women.’

Jenner said she blamed Washington’s ‘woke’ policies for enabling the situation, which she says is unfair to other girls competing in the Emerald Sound Conference, in which Seattle Academy student athletes compete.

The Olympic Champion, who is herself transgender, called on the WIAA to change the rules, citing swimming as an example of a sport that has altered its stance on the issue.

Olympic gold-medallist Caitlyn Jenner (pictured) has been vocal on the issue of transgender women who have not biologically transitioned competing in women's swimming

Olympic gold-medallist Caitlyn Jenner (pictured) has been vocal on the issue of transgender women who have not biologically transitioned competing in women’s swimming

Jenner has been vocal on the issue of transgender women who have not biologically transitioned competing in women's sport, most notably with the case of Lia Thomas (pictured), a trans woman who wants to compete in women's swimming at the Olympics in 2024

Jenner has been vocal on the issue of transgender women who have not biologically transitioned competing in women’s sport, most notably with the case of Lia Thomas (pictured), a trans woman who wants to compete in women’s swimming at the Olympics in 2024

Jenner has been vocal on the issue of transgender women who have not biologically transitioned competing in women’s swimming, most notably with the case of Lia Thomas, a trans woman who wants to compete in women’s swimming at the Olympics in 2024.

Thomas sparked an outcry over unfairness after she smashed multiple college swimming records, prompting a crackdown on transgender women competing in the sport. 

Critics of male-to-female transgender athletes say they have an unfair advantage over women after going through male puberty, even if they undergo subsequent hormone treatment during their transition.

They also warn of potential safety concerns that arise by having someone with male private parts in a female changing room.

Transgender rights advocates say students who are trans are vulnerable, and that they should be allowed to participate fully in school or college life as the gender with which they identify.

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