Kye Allums, the George Washington University junior who made headlines last fall by coming out as a transgender person while remaining on the school’s women’s basketball team, announced this week that he would not be returning to the team for his senior year because of injuries, according to several published reports, including this one at FoxNews.com.
Allums said in a prepared statement that he came to the decision on his own that it is “no longer in my best interests” to play basketball, and he thanked the school’s athletic department for respecting his wishes.
When he came out as transgender last November, Allums explained that he was postponing hormone treatments and gender reassignment surgery so that he could remain eligible to play on the women’s basketball team. However, Allums said this week that after suffering two concussions in the 2010-11 season, he has decided not to continue to play basketball.
Although Alllums started 20 games in his sophomore year at George Washington, he played in only eight games this season because of the concussions. He told the Associated Press in March that he has suffered a total of eight concussions overall and that he has been experiencing memory loss, a common symptom of multiple concussions. He said doctors told him that if he were a football player rather than a basketball player, his career would have ended even sooner.
A post by Eammon Brenna on ESPN’s College Basketball Nation Blog praised Allum’s courage in coming out as transgender, saying: “In essence, Allums’ change was about identity, about helping the external match the internal, and it raised awareness of transgender identity issues in an arena where even homosexuality remains a hotly debated subject. … It’s sad to see any player’s career cut short by injuries. But I’d argue it’s even sadder to see Allums — whose public bravery no doubt served as inspiration to even a (presumably) small number of athletes with transgender identities — unable to live out his final season with his teammates.”