You are on page 1of 2

! !

Waukeen Q. McCoy 703 Market Street, Suite 1300 San Francisco, CA 94103 (415) 675-7705 mail@mccoyslaw.com

Dear M. McCoy: My name is Dale Saran and I am CrossFit, Inc.s General Counsel. I am writing to respond to your letter of September 12, 2013, regarding your client, Chloie Jonnson and our decision regarding her participation in the CrossFit Games. I would like to begin by correcting a few errors, both factual and legal, in your letter, so we can at least be dealing with the same circumstances and not talking past each other. One thing should be dispensed with at the outset: there is no discrimination involved in our decision at least not as that word is legally denoted. We welcome Chloie to the CrossFit Community with open arms and free of judgment. Part of the hallmark of this community is its openness to all. Chloie is welcome at any CrossFit box and we wouldnt want as one of our affiliates anyone who had a hang-up about Chloies past or her present. So, your claim of ostracizing Chloie from the community is a bit troubling, unless you are making some claim about one of our affiliates. So far as I can tell, you are making claims only about her participation in the CrossFit Games. In this regard, we need to get our facts together. We have not prohibited Chloie from participating in the CrossFit Games. We have simply ruled that based upon her being born as a male, she will need to compete in the Men's Division. Competing in a sport is very different from the conclusory statement in the first paragraph of your letter, that [t]hus, by all accounts, both physically and legally, Chloie Jonnson is a female. This is simply wrong as a matter of human biology and if you cant see that, there really isnt much to talk about.1 Chloie was born, genetically as a matter of fact with an X and a Y chromosome and all of the anatomy of a male of the human race. Today, notwithstanding any hormone therapy or surgeries, Chloie still has an X and Y chromosome. Thus, youre statement is categorically, empirically, false. The principle intent of the CrossFit Games is to determine the fittest man and woman on Earth. What were really talking about here is a matter of definition; of what it means to be female for purposes of the CrossFit Games. We all have nothing but respect and support for Chloies decision and how she sees herself. I also understand that in your client-centric world, your concern is entirely for what your client wants, however, we have an obligation to protect the rights of all competitors and the competition itself. We are scrupulous about ensuring a level playing field for the athletes. This is not discrimination any more than our decision to set Regional boundaries and age limits for the Masters division. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
1

http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/536952/sex-chromosome#ref227006

! The fundamental, ineluctable fact is that a male competitor who has a sex reassignment procedure still has a genetic makeup that confers a physical and physiological advantage over women. That Chloie may have felt herself emotionally, and very conscientiously, to be a woman in her heart, and that she ultimately underwent the legal and other surgical procedures to carry that out, cannot change that reality. Further, the timing of her sex reassignment surgery (and any subsequent hormone therapy) does not change this discussion. I say this with no rancor or judgment. We all can only imagine the difficulties she has endured, however, that empathy for her situation does not alter the reality. We owe it to the competition and the whole pool of female athletes to exclude Chloie from participating in the female division. Finally, your comparison to the plight of African-American baseball players fails both in the physical reality and on its own terms in the particulars.2 Well ignore the rather unsubtle offense, as well as your off-handed comment about the exclusion of Chloie being due to ignorance and difficulty. Our decision has nothing to do with ignorance or being bigots it has to do with a very real understanding of the human genome, of fundamental biology, that you are either intentionally ignoring or missed in high school. It may be that at some point there will be a large enough cohort of trans-gendered athletes that we may establish a category for them to compete in. That remains to be seen. Know that they will be welcomed with open arms in this community, but what we will not waver from is our commitment to ensure the fairness of the competition. Sincerely,

Dale Saran General Counsel CrossFit, Inc.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
2

A.B. Happy Chandler, the Commissioner of Major League Baseball when Branch Rickey signed Jackie Robinson to a contract, both publicly approved the contract and later threatened to sanction the players on two different teams (the Phillies and the Cardinals) if the players didnt cease with racial taunting and in response to their threat to strike over Robinsons inclusion. Society and players may have been discriminatory in their actions, but the Commissioner of Major League Baseball wasnt. Neither are we.