Riley Gaines praises Canadian boxer Katia Bissonnette’s decision to pull out of competition against trans opponent

Katia Bissonnette informed Reduxx that she only discovered her opponent was a man an hour before the fight was supposed to start.


Riley Gaines praises Canadian boxer Katia Bissonnette’s decision to pull out of competition against trans opponent

Riley Gaines[Image Credit- Imago]

Katia Bissonnette decided not to compete in the Canadian boxing championship when she learned that her opponent, Mya Walmsley a transgender woman who was assigned male at birth. Following this event, former athlete Riley Gaines expressed her thoughts on the issue on X, while praising the boxer for her decision.

Gaines stated that women should assert their refusal to accept such physical and psychological strain that arises from male choices around their identity. This stance reflects a growing momentum where women are assertively demanding change.

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The news was imparted to Bissonnette just an hour before the 2023 Provincial Golden Glove Championship, as recounted by the media outlet Reduxx. With substantiation coming via a text message, her coach informed her of the situation regarding Walmsley’s gender at birth.

Bissonnette, hailing from Saguenay, deferred to a University of Utah study in 2020 when rationalizing her choice to withdraw. A study reports that when weight is equated, a punch from a male packs 163% more power than a female’s strike, Bissonnette articulated. She thinks it’s not fair to make female athletes deal with problems that affect their bodies and feelings because of choices about gender made by someone else.

Mya Walmsley voiced her dissatisfaction with Katia Bissonnette’s departure

In a recent statement, Mya Walmsley expressed disappointment that instead of seeking further details from his coach or the Quebec Olympic Boxing Federation, the person in question chose to directly engage with the press to disclose his identity. Walmsley condemned this act as potentially harmful to athletes who might face alienation or personal attacks based on unsubstantiated claims.

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Mya Walmsley and Katia Bissonnette [Image Credit-Radio Canada and TVA Nouvelles]
Mya Walmsley and Katia Bissonnette [Image Credit-Radio Canada and TVA Nouvelles]

Walmsley voiced apprehensions that such claims might erode the integration of transgender female competitors, potentially resulting in stricter rules. Walmsley suggested that trust among athletes regarding gender identity is pivotal.

According to reports, Bissonnette contends that the Australian competitor would have been ineligible to compete in the female division in their home country, asserting that Walmsley would have been classified as male. Moreover, Bissonnette claimed that Walmsley’s records in Quebec indicate no previous bouts as a female participant.

Additionally, Bissonnette is said to advocate for the establishment of sports categories exclusively based on biological sex. This viewpoint aligns with that of several US state leaders, as evidenced by nine Republican governors recently petitioning the NCAA to reconsider its policies on transgender athletes’ participation.

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The NCAA possesses the authority to ensure equity and achievement for women in collegiate sports. The governors stress the necessity for the NCAA to take accountability for the integrity of college sports and propose policy revisions to address these concerns.

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