BREAKING: Female Darts Star Forfeits Denmark Open Match Against Trans-Identified Male In Protest Of His Inclusion In The Women’s Category

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A female darts player has forfeited her match against a trans-identified male in a protest of his participation in the women’s category. Deta Hedman refused to play against Noa-Lynn Van Leuven during the Denmark Open quarter-final yesterday.

Hedman, of Whitham, UK, is a three-time WDF World Champion runner-up, and has been a fixture in the women’s darts world since the 1980s, having played in both the World Masters and the Dutch Open amongst her numerous other career highlights.

Deta Hedman. Photo credit: Personal Website.

Hedman’s latest match was the Denmark Open in Esbjerg, where she was due to compete against Van Leuven in the quarter-finals. But Hedman refused to play against Van Leuven, taking a strong stance against male participation in women’s sports. As a result, Van Leuven was sent straight through to the semi-finals.

Just days before the match was due to take place, Hedman took to her Facebook page to denounce trans-identified male inclusion in the women’s category.

“Women & girls deserve to be CHAMPIONS in their own sports,” read a graphic Hedman posted to her page.

Hedman’s forfeiture did not come as a surprise to some, who noted that she had been outspoken on the issue of keeping sports single-sex for a number of years. In 2023, Hedman specifically named Van Leuven in a statement she posted on the issue.

“For many months I’ve struggled with transgenders playing in the women’s world ranked events. I have thought this is wrong since day one,” she wrote. While she stressed that she had no issues with individuals identifying how they chose in day-to-day life, she emphasized that she did not believe men should be playing in female sporting categories.

“I’m not close to Noa-Lynn in darts but in fairness seems a lovely person, at Lakeside I met Victoria Monaghan and must admit she is a right character we had banter and a fair few laughs, but my personal view is trans shouldn’t be playing in women’s ranked events.”

Despite Hedman making her motivation for her forfeiture clear, some sports journalists misrepresented the situation, claiming she had dropped out of the match due to illness rather than her values.

Yesterday, Phil Barrs, a sports presenter for Online Darts, claimed Hedman had informed tournament organizers that she was “in pain and unable to play,” suggesting that Van Leuven’s participation was not the motive for her forfeiture.

But Hedman quickly set the record straight on X, responding: “No fake illness, I said I wouldn’t play a man in a ladies event . Don’t listen to @phillbarrs he knows sweet [fuck all], nor does his reliable source.”

Barrs then quoted Hedman and accused her of being transphobic, going so far as to say that her words “should be addressed by the sporting authorities.”

Hedman is not the first female darts player to refuse to compete against Van Leuven.

As previously reported by Reduxx, two female darts players from the Netherlands dropped out of the Dutch Women’s Team in response to Van Leuven’s inclusion. 

Aileen de Graaf and Anca Zijlstra sent shockwaves through the sport after they both announced their departure in March, with the women no longer wanting to form a team with Noa-Lynn Van Leuven.

Zijlstra issued a statement revealing she would be stepping back after Van Leuven dominated the Women’s Series tournament on March 23, beating Zijlstra 4-0 and seizing the Series Title 2 from Ireland’s Katie Sheldon in the final round.

That same month, Van Leuven became the first “woman” to win a Challenger Tour, seizing a £2,500 cash prize with a victory over former Premier League Darts competitor John Henderson in the quarter-finals.

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The post BREAKING: Female Darts Star Forfeits Denmark Open Match Against Trans-Identified Male In Protest Of His Inclusion In The Women’s Category appeared first on Reduxx.


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