A North Carolina high-school volleyball athlete has suffered a severe injury after a transgender player threw an “abnormally fast” ball at her head, newly released video footage shows.
The male opponent hurled the volleyball at approximately 70 mph, according to the Daily Mail. One bystander claimed that it was “abnormally” fast, the publication said. The female teammate at Hiwassee Dam High School experienced trauma to the head and neck, reportedly.
She is still recovering from long-term concussion symptoms, including problems with her vision. She has not yet been approved to compete again.
Hiwassee Dam will forfeit all games against the transgender player’s school, a decision made by the Cherokee County school board in a five to one vote.
The board mentioned concerns about safety without addressing the transgender component, the fact that a biological male with a significant physical advantage overpowered a female player.
“The County will not participate in any volleyball games, varsity or junior varsity, against Highlands due to safety concerns,” the minutes from the board’s meeting read.
Hiwassee Dam’s athletic director attended the school-board meeting and declared that “statement needs to be made that it [was] unfair and unsafe” for his team to go up against Highlands school.
“There is a competitive advantage and a safety concern for certain teams — it’s not the same for all teams,” the school board’s vice chair Jeff Martin said. “I can tell you that the board wasn’t searching out this kind of thing. It was brought to our attention based on safety concerns.”
“The biggest thing for us, especially after seeing the video of the injury, we felt very strongly that it was a safety concern,” board member Jeff Tatham said. “I think most of the board members also felt like there’s a competitive advantage issue.”
The North Carolina incident comes after the scandal with University of Pennsylvania transgender swimmer Lia Thomas, who outperformed and outpaced multiple female title-holders in the sport at various national events.
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