Skip to content

Wyoming tennis president resigns in protest over transgender player

The president of a Wyoming tennis association stepped down from her role when a transgender female was permitted to enter a tournament, claiming that a “man playing against a woman is very unfair” and against her “integrity.”

Jackie Fulkrod, the former president of the Cheyenne Tennis Association board, took issue with collegiate player Brooklyn Ross’s involvement in the Wyoming Governor’s Cup, according to Cowboy State Daily.

“I feel like having a transgender athlete compete in the women’s draw is against my personal integrity and what I believe and value,” Fulkrod told the outlet.

Fulkrod — whose mother also resigned from the board over Ross’ participation — had served on the Cheyenne Tennis Association board for two years before her resignation.

“My decision to resign was solely based on the fact that we didn’t have any way to protect our organization or protect our female athletes that are going to be playing in the tournament,” Fulkrod told the outlet.

The Wyoming Governor’s Cup is a low-level tournament made up of advanced players and can help athletes boost their United States Tennis Association ranking — metrics regularly viewed by college coaches for recruitment.

Fulkrod added that she’s not the only member of the 8-person board who had an issue with Ross competing — saying other members were “visibly upset” when the decision was announced.

“I think a man playing against a woman is a very unfair matchup when it’s specifically meant for women in that specific draw,” she said.

Ross, 27, is set to hit the court in the women’s open singles division for the tournament in Cheyenne, Wyo., this weekend.

The 6-foot-tall tennis player — who transitioned six years ago and has played in tournaments across the nation — shared that all her experience of competing in the past has “been positive and good,” according to the outlet.

“They probably haven’t had the experience of any trans woman being able to play, and I’m glad to be able to be able to kind of stand up for some of those people without a voice,” Ross told the outlet. “Kids that have to choose between their authenticity and playing a game.”

The Colorado native just finished her junior season at The University of Texas at Tyler, an NCAA Division II school.

She spent the first two years of her college tennis career at Metro State University in Denver — encouraging her critics to come and watch the competition.

The Colorado native just finished her junior season at The University of Texas at Tyler, an NCAA Division II school.

“This is an opportunity for them to be able to come see a trans woman competing and see a real example, not a hypothetical or theoretical,” Ross said.

Peg Connor, the director of the tournament and the executive director of the Wyoming Tennis Association, would not reveal who made the controversial decision to allow Ross to compete, directing the outlet to check inclusion policies of the United States Tennis Association — which oversees the tournament.

“Tennis thrives when the sport embraces inclusion,” the USTA writes in its statement on transgender athletes. “For that reason, tennis is open to all regardless of one’s age, ethnicity, race, religious background, sexual orientation or gender identity.”

Fulkrod speculated fear of potential lawsuits and other issues is why Connor wasn’t opposed to Ross playing — but the decision has come at a cost, with a number of sponsors — including her family — dropping out of the tournament.

“I can understand the tournament director’s position because of lawsuits and that kind of thing, but as a personal belief, I thought this is wrong, this is not something we want to set as a precedent in Cheyenne because what’s the next thing?” Fulkrod questioned.

The tournament is set to run through Aug. 4-6.

Today's News.
For Conservatives.
Every Single Day.

News Opt-in
(Optional) By checking this box you are opting in to receive news notifications from News Rollup. Text HELP for help, STOP to end. Message & data rates may apply. Message frequency varies. Privacy Policy & Terms:
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.