Girls’ high school basketball coach banned for forfeiting game over transgender player has no regrets: ‘Asking for injury’

The coach of a Vermont high school girls basketball team that was banned from state athletics after forfeiting a game against a squad with a trans player defended the decision — stressing the danger of a biological male playing against girls.

“I’ve got four daughters. I’ve coached them all at one point in their careers playing high school basketball,” Chris Goodwin, coach of the girls’ team at the Mid-Vermont Christian School, said Monday on “Fox & Friends.”

“I’ve also filled in for the boys’ coach when he can’t make a practice, and I run those practices, and boys just play at a different speed, a different force … than the girls play. It’s a different game,” he said, adding that it would be “irresponsible” and “asking for an injury” to a smaller female athlete.

Chris Goodwin (left), the coach of the girls’ basketball team at Mid-Vermont Christian School, defended the decision to forfeit a game against a team with a trans player. Fox News

The private school declined to play Long Trail in a Feb. 21, 2023, Division IV playoff game because it believed that competing against a team with a biological male “jeopardizes the fairness of the game and the safety of our players.”

The Vermont Principals’ Association banned Mid-Vermont from all athletic events as a result of the team’s refusal to face the trans player — and the school later filed a lawsuit against state officials.

The VPA told CNN in a statement that the school “has every right to teach its beliefs to its own students. It cannot, however, impose those beliefs on students from other public and private schools; deny students from other schools the opportunity to play; or hurt students from other schools because of who those students are.”

But Goodwin defended the decision to forfeit the game.

“After discussions with the administration and our players and parents, we decided that instead of going against our religious beliefs that … there are differences between male and female, we are created differently, we decided to forfeit that game and withdraw from the tournament,” he said.

“And at that point, the state of Vermont governing body kicked us out of all athletic competitions in the state,” the coach added.

The small school, located in Quechee, claimed it was “irreparably harmed by being denied participation” and “losing out on playing competitive sports as well as academic competitions,” states its lawsuit, which was filed by Alliance Defending Freedom.

Mid-Vermont Christian School has been banned from state competitions after it refused to play against Long Trail, whose team included a trans athlete. Fox News

The ADF is a Christian legal advocacy group that works to defend and preserve freedom of speech to expand Christian practices within public schools and in government, outlaw abortion, and curtail LGBTQ rights, its website states.

Mid-Vermont argued that VPA was “denying the Christian school and its students from participating in the state’s tuition program and sports league because of their religious beliefs.”

“The State is entitled to its own views, but it is not entitled, nor is it constitutional, to force private, religious schools across the state to follow that orthodoxy as a condition to participating in Vermont’s tuitioning program and the State’s athletic association,” the lawsuit states.

The VPA has since kicked the school out of the association.

Mid-Vermont Christian School filed a lawsuit against state officials, one that the Alliance Defending Freedom thinks it can win. Google Maps

Eighteen state legislatures have banned trans students from competing in high school sports, according to Movement Advancement Project.

Vermont is one of the few states that allow it.

Ryan Tucker, an attorney with Alliance Defending Freedom, expressed his confidence that the school will win the case.

“The state is basically attempting to purge individuals like Chris and other family members in the state, from public discourse, from the ability … to speak out … on issues of significant, public concern,” he said on “Fox & Friends,” where he accused the state of failing to consider “the biological reality” and the health and safety risks to female athletes.

 “We’re very confident that we’re going to prevail,” Tucker added.  

The Post has reached out to the VPA for comment.

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