Canadian Women & Sport and the CCES Oppose World Rugby Ban of Trans Women

Canadian Women & Sport and the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES) have written a letter to Brett Gosper, CEO of World Rugby, to express our strong opposition to World Rugby’s ban on transgender women athletes. In doing so, we join 84 academics, Athlete Ally, Egale Canada and others in urging World Rugby to repeal their recent ban preventing transgender women from participating in women’s rugby.

This ban violates the human rights of transgender and gender diverse people, forcing them out of sport and denying them the benefits it brings. The discriminatory ban perpetuates the harmful and marginalizing practice of gender policing in women’s sport.

We applaud Rugby Canada’s assertion that “Rugby participation in Canada will continue to be guided by the organization’s existing Trans Inclusion Policy and the Canadian Charter of Rights & Freedoms,” in which gender identity and expression are protected. It sets a strong precedent that a major rugby governing body has recommitted to ensuring that all participants, including transgender women, have access to programming that is comfortable, safe, and values their right to participate.

If you are an individual invested in equity in sport, here are some ways you can help oppose the ban: 

  • Sign and share the global petition to keep rugby open to trans women athletes; 
  • Email your rugby union, club, or league to voice your support of trans women in rugby and express your opposition to the ban; 
  • Tell others in your sport, club, or in your circle of friends and family why you oppose the ban and voice your support on social media using the hashtags #TackleTransphobia #LetUsPlay and #RugbyForAll
  • Share Rugby Canada’s position and Egale Canada’s letter with key stakeholders in your sport and ask them to voice their support; 
  • Read and apply the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport’s guidance on creating inclusive sport environments for trans participants.

About the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport

The CCES is an independent, national, not-for profit organization with a responsibility to administer the Canadian Anti-Doping Program. We recognize that true sport can make a great difference for individuals, communities and our country. The CCES acknowledges funding, in part, from the Government of Canada. We are committed to making sport better by working collaboratively to activate a values-based and principle-driven sport system; protecting the integrity of sport from the negative forces of doping and other unethical threats; and advocating for sport that is fair, safe and open to everyone.

For further information, please contact:

Greer Gemin
Marketing and Communications Coordinator, Canadian Women & Sport

Megan Cumming
Corporate Communications Manager, Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport
+1 613-521-3340 x3233