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The state of California has taken a stance on the issue of transgender athletes competing in women’s sports when it comes to professional surfing, allowing transgender women to compete in female divisions via the Coastal Act. And this has led to some significant pushback amongst the surfing community.

The inaugural Huntington Beach Longboard Pro event is set to take place this weekend. And according to Fox News, the event’s organizers were forced to reverse their stance on transgender athletes or risk having the event canceled. Their previous stance was to have biologically born males and biologically born females competing in the division that they were born to.

This does not comply with the Coastal Act, which deems that any event that does not allow transgender female athletes to compete in the female divisions can be shut down.

The decision has led to some significant dialogue amongst the surfing community. Bethany Hamilton, who is perhaps the biggest name in professional surfing, took to social media to voice her opinion on the matter.

“California state law allows for males in female surfing events,” tweeted Hamilton. This is not fair game. I do not support this.”

It’s fairly understandable as to why Hamilton feels this way. Her illustrious career, which dates all the way back to 1998, may not have gone the way it had if she had to compete against transgender athletes during the entirety of it.

It will be interesting to see whether Hamilton’s input here holds any weight in terms of the sport’s future, and whether or not transgender athletes will be allowed to compete against women in the future.

[Bethany Hamilton, Fox News]

About Reice Shipley

Reice Shipley is a staff writer for Comeback Media that graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in Sports Media. He previously worked at Barrett Sports Media and is a fan of all things Syracuse sports.