Trans golfer Hailey Davidson slams decision to ban her from women’s tour: ‘bigotry will never win’

Transgender golfer Hailey Davidson has taken to Instagram to speak out after the NXXT Women’s Pro Tour suddenly announced on Friday (8 March) that participants must be “a biological female at birth” in order to compete – banning Davidson from all future competitions.

Hailey Davidson, the first trans golfer to win a professional women’s event back in 2021, won the tournament at the NXXT Women’s Classic at Howey-in-the-Hills, which ended on 17 January 2024.

Davidson participated in the elite tournament and beat 24 players in the three-round event. The win at the Women’s Classic marked Davidson’s first victory in more than two years and put her in first place to earn an Epson Tour exemption at the end of the season. 

Following her win, she was widely targeted with transphobia and hate speech as part of the sadly all-too-familiar backlash against trans athletes.

Addressing the transphobia she’d faced, Davidson took to social media to explain there is still “a lot of work to be done” before she can join the LPGA Tour, which feels “incredibly far off”. “I will never allow hate to win, especially when based [on] some misinformation,” she added, concluding with: “Keep swinging and Flush It!”

At the time, the NXXT Women’s World Tour defended Davidson’s inclusion and confirmed their policy in a statement, saying “The NXXT Women’s Pro Tour’s policies, especially concerning gender, have been formulated in alignment with those of the LPGA and USGA. This approach is crucial in maintaining the integrity of our partnership with the LPGA and ensuring a fair and consistent competitive environment. When Hailey Davidson joined the tour, she complied with these policies by providing necessary documentation.”

However, on Friday (8 March), NXXT GOLF CEO Stuart McKinnon announced a sudden U-turn, releasing a statement announcing a policy change that would make any competitor that was not “a biological female at birth” ineligible to participate.

Davidson again took to Instagram, this time to slam the decision.

Davidson posted a shocked update to her Instagram story following the ban (Instagram/Hailey Davidson)

“Effective immediately, I have been removed (banned) from the next 3 NXXT tournaments that I already signed up for and been approved to play,” Davidson wrote. 

“They changed their policy mid season, after me signing up already and being 2nd in Player of the Year race.” 

She then added that the decision denigrates cis female athletes while at the same time discriminating against transgender women, saying, “you know what really bugs me is that people think I win just by showing up. This is such a slap in the face to ALL female athletes being told that any male can transition and beat them regardless of the life of hard work those women put in.

“You think you’re attacking me, but you’re actually attacking and putting down ALL other female athletes.”

She finished by announcing, “you can scream at me, threaten me, throw insults at me, and even ban me BUT I will ALWAYS get back up and keep fighting to the very end. Hate and bigotry will never win.”

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