by WorldTribune Staff, November 15, 2023
Alexandra Cunha, the world's fifth-ranked female pool player, is refusing to play against biological males in women's professional competitions, a report said.
Cunha "took the stance after the rules of her sport were changed on Oct. 24 to allow men who identify as women to play in ladies' tournaments that command thousands in prize money," DailyMail.com reported
on Nov. 11.
Cunha, who is based in the UK but is captain of the Portuguese women's national pool team, told the Mail on Sunday: "I've been playing pool since I was 17 and I'm fifth in the world but I'm risking throwing everything away over this because I hate unfairness. I recently played a transgender player and I was destroyed when I lost."
After pulling out of a recent International Rules Pool Tour event, Cunha told the organizers: "As we live in a free world and I will stand up for what I believe is fair, I will not play against any player that wasn't born a woman independently of being a first round or a final."
The report added that Cunha "is one of dozens of professional female players who are now rebelling against the growing number of trans players who are playing professionally in the women's pool leagues."
Men who identify as female can dominate ladies' pool competitions because they have a clear physical edge over women competitors, including greater upper body strength which enables them to make a more powerful initial "break" of the balls which can dictate the direction of a game, the women say.
Pro pool player Lynne Pincher said: "When I heard the announcement last week I spent most of the day in tears — especially because it came after the announcement eight weeks earlier that it was finally going to be a fair field. I'm worried now about the future of the game for women. If next year we had eight trans players they would probably be in the top eight."
Olympian Sharron Davies, who has been a vocal supporter of women's sports remaining single sex, branded the decision to allow trans players to play in female pool competitions as "heartbreaking. Pool is a male-dominated sport, like so many, and these women have worked hard to get their own tour."
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