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Workers fired on Zoom: Here’s how to navigate a ‘devastating’ experience and come out on the other side

Source image: https://www.foxnews.com/lifestyle/workers-fired-zoom-how-navigate-devastating-experience-come-side

It can be hard enough for employees to hear the words, “You’re being let go” or “Your job no longer exists” from a manager or a supervisor in a conference room or in an office.

But even tougher in today’s remote and hybrid work environment is hearing — via a Zoom video call through a personal device — “You’re being downsized.” 

In recent months, scores of people have taken to LinkedIn to share their tough job news and describe their disappointment, frustration and upset over losing their positions via Zoom calls, whether those Zoom meetings were large group calls or one-on-one situations.

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“I started noticing something happening on LinkedIn late last summer and early fall,” said Amy Keller Laird, the New York-based founder of Mental, a platform about mental health issues.

“Instead of a flood of people posting their [job] accomplishments,” she told Fox News Digital, “there was an avalanche of people openly writing that they’d been part of mass job layoffs. This struck me because, in the past, people didn’t typically share this kind of information publicly for fear that companies wouldn’t want to hire them or that they’d somehow ‘look bad.'”

People have been sharing stories on LinkedIn of being let go via Zoom calls — and others have been chiming in with concern and "words of support."

People have been sharing stories on LinkedIn of being let go via Zoom calls — and others have been chiming in with concern and “words of support.”
(iStock)

Added Laird, “But the response was pretty incredible: Others amplified their posts by tagging hiring managers and commented from a real place of compassion, either sharing in the difficult situation or offering words of support.”

Laird noted that “layoffs are always tough, with research showing that being unemployed can increase your risk of depression.” 

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She said, “Then we’re in this remote-working landscape, which itself is isolating. And because work-from-home situations have turned your couch into your office, getting laid off by Zoom is particularly jarring because you wake up the next morning in your ‘office’ but without a job.”

“It’s like you’ve been digitally erased from your workplace. It’s a recipe for depression.”

She added, “Home is no longer an emotional respite.”

Also, she said, “it seems that, with a lot of these mass corporate layoffs, because they’re digital, people are being cut off immediately [from their devices or other work platforms] or at the end of the day, rather than getting a couple of days to process [the news] and tie up loose ends.” 

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She said, “In one minute, you’re part of a team — the next, your access to Slack and email is removed. It’s like you’ve been digitally erased from your workplace. It’s a recipe for depression.”

‘Shock, sadness and confusion’

In a recent post on LinkedIn, Tanvi Biyani, a product management analyst based in Dallas, Texas, wrote on the platform that last Wednesday, “I hopped on a Zoom call for a regular 1:1 sync with my manager — only to find my [managing director] patiently waiting on the same bridge.”

She added, “In that moment, I knew this was not our normal feedback session.” 

Zoom conferences are typically for sharing project updates with colleagues or team members. Today, some companies are using Zoom meetings to deliver tough news about "head count reductions" and downsizing — leading to shock for many employees.

Zoom conferences are typically for sharing project updates with colleagues or team members. Today, some companies are using Zoom meetings to deliver tough news about “head count reductions” and downsizing — leading to shock for many employees.
(iStock)

She said that she had just heard, prior to her Zoom meeting, about some coworkers at Goldman Sachs being laid off — and wondered if “this could be related to the layoffs, though I desperately hoped that it wouldn’t be me.” 

Then, “in the next few minutes (what felt like eternity), I gathered words like ‘headcount’ and ‘severance’ and ‘being let go.’”

“All I could think about was how I had a job — and now I didn’t.” 

She wrote that she felt “shock, sadness and confusion. All I could think about was how I had a job — and now I didn’t. I rushed to say my goodbyes and offhand my responsibilities, knowing my access would be removed at any minute.”

She also shared on LinkedIn in her compelling post, “It is crazy how fast things can change. You watch the news about the market and mass layoff fears looming within the industry, but you never really think that it’s going to be you. You aren’t taught how to navigate your emotions or the future or even the process of leaving. You just learn through experience.”

"Many employees are loyal to their company, so being fired in a group Zoom feels like a major betrayal."

“Many employees are loyal to their company, so being fired in a group Zoom feels like a major betrayal.”
(iStock)

In a phone interview this week, Biyani told Fox News Digital that she’s talked to a lot of other people who have also been laid off — and she recognizes that many people are in very tough financial straits right now, without their jobs. 

“It’s a learning opportunity for me,” she said, looking to the future, “and I’m open to new challenges.”

Fox News Digital reached out to mental health experts and others for advice and insight on “remote firings” — and what people should know.

Why is being fired via Zoom so difficult? 

“It can be embarrassing to get fired in a group Zoom. It may feel as though your boss doesn’t care and you aren’t valued, despite the contribution you made to the company,” said Amy Morin, a psychotherapist in Marathon, Florida, who is also the author of the book “13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do.” 

She added, Many employees are loyal to their company, so being fired in a group Zoom feels like a major betrayal.”

Denver, Colorado-based Niki Jorgensen, director of service operations with Insperity, a leading provider of human resources, said that when employees are laid off as a group via Zoom or any virtual platform, the experience can feel highly impersonal and uncaring, for several reasons.

“While many employees are aware of layoffs in a group Zoom, the practice remains unpopular.”

“Employees cannot have a direct conversation,” she said. “Historically, employees are laid off in one-on-one conversations with HR or management.”

Yet “when employees are laid off as a group, personal explanations or assurances are absent. Employees will also feel less comfortable asking questions and expressing themselves in front of a group, if they receive the chance at all,” added Jorgensen.

She also said, “Employees can feel blindsided. While many employees are aware of layoffs in a group Zoom, the practice remains unpopular.”

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She said that “unless management has shared the content of the call ahead of time, employees will be caught by surprise when what seems like a typical team call becomes a group firing.”

Did remote work due to COVID increase Zoom firings?

With today’s remote work setups, more and more crucial conversations are taking place over Zoom or in a virtual space, noted Jorgensen. 

“Pre-pandemic, these conversations typically took place face-to-face, but the business world has now embraced video calls as an effective way to communicate about job offers, HR updates and more. These factors have forced disciplinary action to also occur via Zoom.”

"When employees are aware of any challenges the company is facing — which have been exacerbated by a variety of other global factors — they need to be realistic about what could happen to their job role."

“When employees are aware of any challenges the company is facing — which have been exacerbated by a variety of other global factors — they need to be realistic about what could happen to their job role.”
(iStock)

Jorgensen distinguished between Zoom firings in group settings — and dismissals via Zoom that are one-on-one.

She said that today, “for fully remote employees, layoffs or firings must take place on Zoom or similar platforms.”

She also said, “Managers can have difficult conversations via a video call, but it is important for employers to recognize the value of one-on-one communication around this topic.”

What can people do to brace themselves for a Zoom dismissal?

Employees can “remind themselves that a company’s choice to fire someone over Zoom is a reflection of them, not you,” Morin said. 

Jorgensen, for her part, said that ideally, the employer has been transparent about the state of business. 

“When employees are aware of any challenges the company is facing — which have been exacerbated by a variety of other global factors — they need to be realistic about what could happen to their job role.”

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She added, “When an employee realizes layoffs could be on the horizon, it is the ideal time to reconnect with past colleagues, update resumes and begin to look at job postings. This prep work allows employees to jump back into the job market quickly if layoffs should occur.”

“It is the ideal time to reconnect with past colleagues, update resumes and begin to look at job postings.”

Jorgensen also noted that the way employers handle layoffs is important. 

“When handled correctly, the organization has a pool of candidates to pick from when hiring resumes,” said Jorgensen. 

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“Additionally, those who are still within the organization remain engaged. When layoffs are poorly executed, it can negatively impact the reputation of the company, the current work culture and the opportunity to reengage past employees.”

How should people handle the layoff? 

Amy Keller Laird of Mental said she recently came “across a fascinating study showing that staying connected to former coworkers isn’t just good for networking, it can actually help you integrate better into a new job.”

Treat yourself gently, said one expert,

Treat yourself gently, said one expert, “allowing yourself some rest and realizing you’re not alone and there’s no shame in what’s happened.”
(iStock)

Laird said, “The study authors wrote that keeping up with old colleagues helps you ‘navigate through newly encountered social structures.'”

Laird added, “To combat the loneliness and feelings of isolation from this situation, experts talk about what I call a series of Ss.” 

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These “Ss” are as follows, she said. 

“Stay connected — to friends, family and your work network; self-compassion, by treating yourself gently, allowing yourself some rest and realizing you’re not alone and there’s no shame in what’s happened; and structure, by lining up a to-do list for your days.”

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This can include, said Laird, “small steps like reaching out to two people in your network every few days or scheduling 30 minutes for running or your favorite podcast.”

Deirdre Reilly of Fox News Digital contributed reporting. 

Source: https://www.foxnews.com/lifestyle/workers-fired-zoom-how-navigate-devastating-experience-come-side

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On this day in history, Feb. 7, 1964, Beatles arrive in US for first time, inspire nationwide mania

The Beatles were greeted by the deafening roar of thousands of screaming fans when they arrived in the United States for the very first time on this day in history, Feb. 7, 1964. 

“When the Beatles arrived in America, it was like seeing a new color for the first time,” a fan said years later. 

Pan Am Flight 101, a Boeing 707, touched down with John, Paul, George and Ringo — the Fab Four still known globally by their first names — at the recently renamed John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City at 1:20 p.m. ET.

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America, reeling in the wake of the assassination of President John Kennedy just 11 weeks earlier, was instantly intoxicated by Beatlemania.

“The pilot [rang] ahead and said, ‘Tell the boys there’s a big crowd waiting for them,’” Paul McCartney said in “The Beatles Anthology.”

UNITED STATES - FEB. 07: (AUSTRALIA OUT): Photo of the Beatles — from left to right, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and George Harrison — waving at crowds as they arrive at JFK Airport for their first U.S. tour. 

UNITED STATES – FEB. 07: (AUSTRALIA OUT): Photo of the Beatles — from left to right, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and George Harrison — waving at crowds as they arrive at JFK Airport for their first U.S. tour.  (Photo by GAB Archive/Redferns)

“We thought, ‘Wow! God, we have really made it.'”

The band would soon dominate global pop music and, in many ways, reshape Western culture for generations to come. 

“We thought, ‘Wow! God, we have really made it.'” — Sir Paul McCartney

“Pandemonium broke out among the stamping, banner-waving fans as The Beatles — John, Paul, George and Ringo — stepped from the plane,” The Daily Mirror of London wrote on its front page the following day, under the lead headline that screamed, “Yeah! Yeah! U.S.A.!”

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“I think the world has gone mad,” the story stated, quoting a New York City police officer who was working crowd control at the airport.  

The Liverpool lads had become superstars in Britain only a year earlier. Their arrival in America brought Beatlemania to an entire new level. It would soon consume pop culture

NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 7: Fans scream with excitement at the arrival of The Beatles at John F. Kennedy International Airport, Feb. 7, 1964. 

NEW YORK – FEBRUARY 7: Fans scream with excitement at the arrival of The Beatles at John F. Kennedy International Airport, Feb. 7, 1964.  (CBS via Getty Images)

The Beatles would prove even bigger in the United States than they were in the United Kingdom. 

“America was the best,” Ringo Starr said in “The Beatles Anthology.” “It was a dream, coming from Liverpool.”

The Lovable Mop Tops appeared on “The Ed Sullivan Show” from Midtown Manhattan two nights later, a landmark moment in American cultural history. 

“America was the best. It was a dream, coming from Liverpool.” — Ringo Starr

Their performance was seen by an estimated 73 million Americans, nearly 40 percent of the entire population of the United States at the time.

The Beatles soon dominated U.S. radio and music charts. 

The Top 5 Billboard hits for the week of April 4 were “Can’t Buy Me Love,” “Twist and Shout,” “She Loves You, “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and “Please Please Me” — each song by the Beatles.

American television host Ed Sullivan smiles while standing with the Beatles on the set of his television variety series, New York, Feb. 9, 1964. Left to right, Ringo Starr, George Harrison, Sullivan, John Lennon, Paul McCartney.

American television host Ed Sullivan smiles while standing with the Beatles on the set of his television variety series, New York, Feb. 9, 1964. Left to right, Ringo Starr, George Harrison, Sullivan, John Lennon, Paul McCartney. (Express Newspapers/Getty Images)

The feat of one act owning the top five spots on the American charts has never been duplicated — or even approximated.

America’s obsession with the Beatles has never ended, nearly 53 years since they disbanded. 

“Abbey Road,” the classic Beatles album released in 1969, was the 12th best-selling album in America — in 2022, according to Billboard.

The Beatles returned America’s embrace. 

John Lennon played his prized 1958 Rickenbacker 325 when the Beatles first played

John Lennon played his prized 1958 Rickenbacker 325 when the Beatles first played “The Ed Sullivan Show’ on Sunday, Feb. 9, 1964, from CBS’s Studio 50 in New York City. Three of the four band members are shown here (from left): George Harrison, Ringo Starr (drummer) and John Lennon.  (CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images)

John Lennon moved to New York City in 1971. He was tragically killed outside his Manhattan home in 1980 by a deranged fan — leading to an instant outpouring of grief in New York and across the nation. 

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“I play here four to five times a week and you see people silently crying to themselves,” New York City musician Jules Avalon told Fox News Digital in December as he performed at Strawberry Fields, a corner of Central Park devoted to Lennon and the Beatles across the street from his murder site.

“‘Abbey Road,’ the classic Beatles album released in 1969, was 12th best-selling album in America in 2022, according to Billboard.”

George Harrison was living in Los Angeles when he died in 2002. 

McCartney and Starr continue to tour the United States. 

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPT. 15:  Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney attend the World premiere of "The Beatles: Eight Days A Week - The Touring Years" at Odeon Leicester Square on Sept. 15, 2016 in London, England.  

LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPT. 15:  Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney attend the World premiere of “The Beatles: Eight Days A Week – The Touring Years” at Odeon Leicester Square on Sept. 15, 2016 in London, England.   (Anthony Harvey/Getty Images)

Fans spontaneously serenaded McCartney with “Happy Birthday” last summer when he performed at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey on the eve of his 80th. 

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It appears a new generation of American children will grow up with an appreciation of the Beatles’ sound and their impact on our national heritage. 

John Lennon’s “music made people happy,” Ethan Doyle, 12, of Philadelphia, told Fox News Digital in December outside the Dakota where the musician was murdered, accompanied by his mother, Monique, and brother Brodie, 9. 

The entrance to The Dakota in Manhattan, where John Lennon was murdered in 1980. It's a global pilgrimage site today.

The entrance to The Dakota in Manhattan, where John Lennon was murdered in 1980. It’s a global pilgrimage site today. “This place radiates importance,” Ethan Doyle, right, 12, of Philadelphia, told Fox News Digital on Dec. 7, 2022, the eve of the anniversary of Lennon’s death. He’s pictured with brother Brodie and mom Monique Doyle. (Kerry J. Byrne/FoxNews Digital)

“This place radiates importance.”

At one point during McCartney’s MetLife show last summer, a couple and their three small children — perhaps none older than 8 or 9 — danced gleefully as McCartney performed “Love Me Do.” 

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The young children responded instinctively to the Beatles’ sound — much the way their grandparents did in 1964. 

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Michigan K-9 whose viral mugshot captivated Americans made big busts in his career: ‘Best partner I ever had’

Detective Ice, a Michigan police K-9, took the internet by storm last month after he was accused of stealing a human officer’s lunch.

The Wyandotte Police Department in Wyandotte, Michigan, shared the alleged thief’s mugshot on Facebook, where it went viral – garnering thousands of likes, comments and shares.

As a result of the post, Facebook users came to the defense of the K-9 — with some people even offering their services to “defend” Ice during his investigation. 

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But exactly who is everyone’s favorite furry officer — and what has his life and career been like?

In June 2012, then-10-month-old Ice joined the Wyandotte police force under the supervision of Detective Sergeant Ken Groat.

Detective Ice has been with the Wyandotte Police Department for over 10 years under the supervision of Detective Sergeant Ken Groat.

Detective Ice has been with the Wyandotte Police Department for over 10 years under the supervision of Detective Sergeant Ken Groat. (Ken Groat)

When police K-9s join the force, they have little-to-no training, Groat told Fox News Digital.

“They train the handler and the dog at the same time, so they teach us how to train our dogs,” he said.

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Over the last 10 years, Groat has moved up the ranks from detective to detective sergeant.

Detective Ice "is just like any other house pet," according to his handler, Detective Sergeant Ken Groat.

Detective Ice “is just like any other house pet,” according to his handler, Detective Sergeant Ken Groat. (Ken Groat)

While it’s common for K-9s to retire and stay home when their handler is promoted, Ice was always promoted alongside Groat — and the two were able to continue in their trainings, Groat said.

At age 10, Ice has now found himself semi-retired, so he does not go out on the road as often as he once did.

“Although Ice is getting a little gray in the beard and not on everyday patrol, he’s still very much a part of our department,” Chief Brian Zalewski told Fox News Digital on Jan. 25, as Ice’s mugshot was gaining national news attention.

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“Ice is extremely well-trained and still maintains his K-9 certifications. Ice has assisted dozens of law enforcement agencies over his decade of service,” Zalewski added. 

“He was one of the most requested Police K-9’s for drug search warrants, vehicle searches and suspect tracking.”

Groat was reassigned to the investigation unit due to his promotion — but Ice can always be found in the office welcoming people as they enter.

“I think it’s added to his life that he’s been able to come to work with me [and] keep him active,” Groat commented. 

Adventures worth talking about

While he may not be making as many busts today as he once did, Detective Ice has had some adventures worth telling.

“He’s the best partner I ever had.”

— Detective Sergeant Ken Groat

During an investigation with another jurisdiction, the K-9 located $120,000 in a laundry hamper that was hidden by an apparent suspect, Groat shared.

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“I thought [Ice] was hitting on the odor of drugs on the guy’s clothes … and he actually reached up and pulled the laundry basket down and started digging the clothes out. And then $10,000 [in] bricks of money start flying out with it,” Groat recalled.

Ice is ready for duty when given a command, but he enjoys relaxing on the couch every once in a while, too. 

Ice is ready for duty when given a command, but he enjoys relaxing on the couch every once in a while, too.  (Ken Groat)

One of Groat’s favorite stories involving Ice has to do with the K-9’s ability to bridge gaps between people and law enforcement and help lower an individual’s stress levels

“Everybody loves a dog, [but] not everybody loves the police,” Groat said.

He added that dogs can “mend fences between people and the police.”

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Ice is still an obedient police dog in spite of his recent “crime” — but when he goes home after a long day’s work, “he is just like any other house pet,” he added. 

Detective Ice really is an obedient police dog in spite of allegedly stealing his co-worker's lunch.

Detective Ice really is an obedient police dog in spite of allegedly stealing his co-worker’s lunch. (Wyandotte Police Department/Ken Groat)

Ice is ready for duty when necessary, but quickly jumps back into being “a normal dog until the next job comes up,” Groat said.

He was raised around Groat’s wife and kids; the children have since grown up.

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At home, Ice is very relaxed and laid back, Groat reported — the pooch seems to enjoy cuddling up with a blanket on the couch.

Dogs can “mend fences between people and the police.”

But back in the day, “the minute you opened the door to get him out [of the car], he was very hyper-energetic [and] ready to do work,” Groat said.

Although he may not be as energetic as he once was, Ice appears to continue to bring others joy.

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“He’s the best partner I ever had,” said Groat. 

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Surfer Bethany Hamilton speaks out against new rule allowing transgender women to compete with females

Surfer, mom and book author Bethany Hamilton is speaking out against the World Surf League’s newly announced policy that would allow for male-bodied individuals known as transgender women to compete at the highest level in professional surfing against other women.

The Hawaii-based Hamilton is raising questions about the rules change, asking whether other professional surfers were consulted about it beforehand – and wondering where this will lead.

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She said on her Instagram account in a video this weekend that is now being widely shared, “The World Surf League has officially made the rule that male-bodied individuals known as transgender athletes can officially compete in the women’s division.”

She added, “The World Surf League says they are following the Olympic guidelines.”

She stressed on social media this weekend, “I strive to have love for all of mankind, regardless of any differences.”

But “this concerns me as a professional athlete” who has competed for the past 15-plus years, she added.

“And I feel that I must speak up and stand up” for others who cannot or won’t speak out about this, she said, as they “fear” they might be “ostracized” if they speak out. 

“Is a hormone level an honest and accurate depiction that someone indeed is a male or female? Is it as simple as this?”

“So – here I go,” she said.

“How is this rule playing out in other sports, like swimming, running and MMA?” she asked.

“Have any of the current surfers in the World Surf League been asked what their thoughts and opinions are on this new rule before it was passed or announced? Should there be a conversation?” she added.

Bethany Hamilton experienced a shark attack and lost her arm when she was 13 years old – and still managed to make it as a professional surfer. She's shown here in 2020. Today, she's a wife, mom, book author and surfer. 

Bethany Hamilton experienced a shark attack and lost her arm when she was 13 years old – and still managed to make it as a professional surfer. She’s shown here in 2020. Today, she’s a wife, mom, book author and surfer.  (Matt Dunbar/WSL via Getty Images)

“Is a hormone level an honest and accurate depiction that someone indeed is a male or female? Is it as simple as this?”

She also asked, “Who is pushing for this huge change?… Does this better the sport of surfing? Is this better for the women in surfing? If so, how?”

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She added, “I personally think that the best solution would be to create a different division so that all can have a fair opportunity to showcase their passion and talent – and I think it’s really hard to imagine what the future of women’s surfing will be like in 15-20 years down the road if we move forward allowing this major change.”

She also announced, “I personally won’t be competing in or supporting the World Surf League if this rule remains.”

Trent Talbot, CEO of Brave Books in Texas, which recently published Hamilton’s children’s book, told Fox News Digital on Sunday, “What an act of bravery. I stand with Bethany Hamilton and her choice to not participate in the World Surf League if they allow men to compete in the women’s division.”

“God designed males and females differently with a purpose.”

Talbot added, “God designed males and females differently with a purpose – and when we reject this, we reject God. Men do not belong in women’s sports.”

He also said, “We must take a stand against this progressive movement that would allow men to compete in women’s sports. Thank you, Bethany Hamilton,” he also noted, “for pushing past fear and standing up for what is right.”

Bethany Hamilton is shown with her husband and children recently.

Bethany Hamilton is shown with her husband and children recently. (Bethany Hamilton/Brave Books)

Hamilton’s most recent children’s book is “Surfing Past Fear” (Brave Books, October 2022).

The World Surf League reportedly announced that it’s adopting the International Surfing Association’s (ISA) transgender policy for all of its tours. 

The change is apparently taking effect immediately.

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One of the key changes is as follows: “A surfer assigned male at birth who identifies as a woman and has woman/female on her national identity card or passport is eligible to compete in a men’s event or as a man in a mixed event if she has not met the requirements to compete in a woman’s event (such as maintaining testosterone level less than 5 nmol/l continuously for the previous 12 months).”

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In addition, “A surfer assigned male at birth who identifies as a woman and has man/male or ‘other’ or ‘X’ on their national identity card or passport is eligible to compete in a men’s event or as a man in a mixed event,” as the ISA also says on its website.

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