Female Darts Player Forfeits Match as She Refuses to Face Transgender: ‘I’m Not Playing a Man in a Women’s Event’

A British female darts star has forfeited a major competition event after being paired against a male player in a women’s match.

Deta Hedman, 64, walked away from her chance to win the Denmark Open after refusing to face a transgender player.

She is calling for the sport to ban those male athletes from competing in female events by claiming to be “transgender women.”

Hedman, who has been a vocal critic of rules allowing transgenders to compete in women’s tournaments, pulled out of the quarter-final match against Noa-Lynn Van Leuven.

Van Leuven is a man who claims to “identify” as a “woman” and competes in the female events after failing to rank professionally in the men’s events.

Hedman is one of the most well-known figures in the women’s darts scene.

In the past, she has called on the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) and the World Darts Federation (WDF) to exclude transgender athletes from women’s tournaments.

“I’m not playing against a man in a women’s event,” Hedman bluntly told German newspaper Bild.

Supporters of Hedman were quick to offer the darts star compensation for her decision to boycott the tournament, offering to make up any prize money she may have lost.

Nevertheless, Denmark Darts paid her out in full for the event.

It was reported that Hedman had initially told organizers she was ill.

However, she hit back at the claim, telling her supporters in a post on X:

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“No fake illness, I said I wouldn’t play a man in a ladies (sic) event.”

Hedman went on to write to Save Women’s Sport – an international campaign calling for “fairness in women’s sport” that says “biological sex matters.”

The sportswoman said to the group:

“This subject is causing much angst in the sport I love.

“People can be whoever they want in life but I don’t think biological born men should compete in Women’s sport.”

Hedman’s decision to step back from her chance to fight for a place in the women’s final has received a mixed reaction.

American former collegiate swimmer Riley Gaines has been one of her loudest supporters.

Gaines offered to refund Hedman any prize money she missed out on by forfeiting her match.

Yet, while Hedman was quick to thank Gaines for her “kind offer,” she reassured her fellow athlete that “Denmark Darts paid me out in full for the event.”

Veteran pool player Lynne Pinches praised Hedman’s decision.

Pinches similarly forfeited her winning spot at the Ladies Champions of Champions after she refused to play her transgender opponent.

“Full respect for her standing for fairness,” Pinches wrote on X.

“It’s not an easy decision to make and we shouldn’t have to.

“Stop the madness please.”

Before attending the event in Denmark, Hedman had posted a picture onto her Facebook page captioned:

“Women & Girls deserve to be CHAMPIONS in their own sports.”

Van Leuven, who “became a woman” in 2014, “won” two tournaments in March.

He took the trophies from real female players in the PDC Women’s Series in Wigan, England, and a PDC Tour event in Hildesheim, Germany a week prior.

Van Leuven faced off against Ireland’s Katie Sheldon in the final, triumphing 5-2 to claim ~$2,500 in prize money.

Since Van Leuven joined the Dutch national team, two of his compatriots have left in protest following his second triumph earlier this year.

Anca Zijlstra revealed she was stepping away “with pain in my heart.”

The world number two, Aileen de Graaf, followed and quit hours later, vowing to no longer represent the Netherlands.

Outraged by the win, 18-time Grand Slam tennis champion Martina Navratilova said:

“No male bodies in women’s sports please – not even in darts.”

“Again – women get the short end of the stick.

“And it stinks.”

Hedman was involved at the PDC Women’s Series in Wigan and hinted that the storm surrounding the inclusion of transgender players could lead to her quitting the sport.

In a post on X, she said: “Not the best weekend at @Official PDC missed 2 darts in event 8 to get into semis.

“Always said I would stop playing when the enjoyment has gone from playing, think the present issues with the ladies (sic) game that time is getting closer.”

Meanwhile, back in December, Hedman called on transgender players including Van Leuven and Victoria Monaghan to be banned from ranked women’s tournaments in a lengthy Facebook statement.

In the post, Hedman said:

“For many months I’ve struggled with transgenders playing in the women’s world-ranked events.”

She then went on to highlight how far women’s darts has come after Hedman and others “fought to get better recognition for women’s darts back in the late 1980s.”

Hedman said she “packed up” in 1997 as she felt there was “little future for the ladies” before returning when a women’s championship was formed.

She then adds:

“Then came the acceptance of trans women being allowed to play in women’s sports by the WDF, PDC, county darts, and independent events.

“I have thought this is wrong since day one, I have no problems with transgenders in life, I’m not close to Noa-Lynn in darts but in fairness seems a lovely person.

“At Lakeside I met Victoria Monaghan and she is a right character we had banter and a fair few laughs, but my personal view is trans shouldn’t playing in women’s ranked events.”

Hedman said she raised her concerns with the WDF, but that the governing body was “worried of legal challenges.”

The WDF told her that “they needed scientific proof a trans player has an advantage over biological women.”

She also claimed to have contacted Dr. Linda Duffy – a former world number one in women’s darts.

Hedman mentioned Duffy’s articles “showing exactly why trans players have advantages over biological women, especially when they have gone through puberty as a male.”

Hedman added: “In my opinion those (mainly men) who say no reasons why women can’t play as well as men are talking out of their rear end.”

The darts player is the latest female athlete to protest against sporting bodies’ decisions to allow men to compete in women’s sports.

In November, pool player Pinches refused to play her transgender opponent Harriet Haynes at the Ladies Champions of Champions event in Denbighshire, Wales.

Footage shows the player approaching the referee to inform them of her decision to forfeit the game and wave goodbye to her chance of winning the tournament.

She then went back to her seat, packed up her cue, and left the arena as a stunned audience watched on.

Her bemused opponent was then left to pick up the trophy by default.

Pinches had been among a host of top female players to speak out over transgenders being allowed to compete against them in elite competitions.

The controversy is now rocking the top levels of women’s professional pool began on October 24 when the sport’s international governing body, the World Eightball Pool Federation (WEPF), changed the rules over trans players’ participation in female tournaments.

Initially, in August, with increasing numbers of trans players applying to play in women’s tournaments, the WEPF put out a joint statement with its main sponsor the Ultimate Pool Group.

They ruled that “these events will be exclusively open to individuals who are born female.”

But just eight weeks later there was a shock reversal in this decision.

A number of real women players have since suggested the U-turn was made under the pressure of legal threats from male competitors and the transgender lobby.

The WEPF and Ultimate Pool issued an update on “competition eligibility for transgender and non-binary players” stating that there would be no discrimination on the grounds of gender identity.

Following Pinches’ decision to step back from the tournament, her brother Barry spoke out in support.

He praised his sister for “taking a stand” and voiced his opinion that it was “unfair” for her to be drawn against a transgender.

“Full credit and great respect to my sister Lynne Pinches yesterday for taking a stand and not playing in the biggest match of her pool-playing life because she feels it’s so unfair to have to compete against a trans woman,” he said.

“I completely agree with her view that it is totally unfair to expect women to compete against trans women in pool or any other sport for that matter.”

READ MORE – Transgender Runner ‘Wins’ Women’s Events, Race Times Would Have Put Him in Last Place against Men

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