Transgender athlete will be allowed to play for boys team, league says

A soccer league that faced criticism now says a transgender athlete will be allowed to play for a boys team.

>> Soccer league considers policy to allow transgender athlete to play

KIRO 7 first talked to Bobby Jones back in September when Jones talked about trying to play for a boys soccer squad in the Puget Sound Premier League.

He and his family wrote to the PSPL asking to play in games, but were originally told league policy dictated that “players must play on teams of their same sex.”

Jones met former MLS captain Brad Evans on the field when he renewed his call to play for the boys team.

Now, it appears the league is willing to not just let him practice with his team, but take the field during matches.

The president of the PSPL Stanley Holmes said the league will allow Jones to compete in games, and issued a statement. Part of the statement reads:

"The Puget Sound Premier League does not discriminate on the basis of gender identity or gender expression. The PSPL is open to all otherwise qualified soccer players without discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or national origin. The PSPL promotes the highest level of youth soccer competition in the Northwest.

Allegations that the league has discriminated against Bobby Jones - or has prohibited him from playing - are false. As Bobby’s parents and team know, Bobby has been training with his club since he joined. The league has never prevented him from training. Due to the COVID pandemic, no player in our league has been able to play league soccer matches since March.

The leadership of the PSPL has been crafting a policy to more comprehensively address trans-athlete participation in the league. We have been surveying policies across the country, including policies from the NCAA, the USSF, various state interscholastic associations, and other youth league policies. The policy the PSPL implements will protect every premier youth athletes' right to a fair competition while also protecting premier youth trans-athletes' rights to participate.

As Bobby’s parents know, the league also granted Bobby a waiver to play this season while the league formulates and discusses a fair, comprehensive, and thoughtful policy for trans-athletes. That means that Bobby can play if there is a fall season. The PSPL is confident that whatever final form its trans-athlete policy takes, Bobby’s participation going forward will be allowed."