Rip Curl faced criticism for hiring a male-born transgender model as a “female brand ambassador” after dropping surfer Bethany Hamilton for her views on male athletes competing as women.
The company featured surfer Sasha Jane Lowerson, who transitioned in 2021 and won both men’s and women’s longboard titles.
The decision sparked backlash from women’s sports advocate Riley Gaines and others.
Imagine, dropping a phenomenal professional surfer, who survived a shark biting her arm off, only to replace her with a man who pretends to be a woman. 🤦♀️Guess what my followers and I will be doing? We will all #BoycottRipCurl
Will you? pic.twitter.com/l0hVB0mts1
— Erin Elizabeth Health Nut News 🙌 (@unhealthytruth) January 27, 2024
Riley Gaines wrote, “You mean to tell me @ripcurl dropped Bethany Hamilton for opposing men surfing in the women’s league then picked up male surfer who surfs in the women’s league as a women’s ambassador?”
Hamilton had questioned guidelines allowing men to compete as women and threatened to boycott World Surf League events over the rules change.
Bethany Hamilton asked, “Is a hormone level an honest and accurate depiction that someone indeed is a male or female? Is it as simple as this?”
“Am I just a hormone number? Is it as simple as that?” she continued.