Tennis great Martina Navratilova, a gay rights advocate, has faced criticism for a column she penned in a U.K. newspaper in which she claimed that allowing transgender women to compete in women’s sporting events is insane and “cheating.”
Navratilova wrote the column in The Independent newspaper in response to fallout from a tweet from December.
It read, “You can’t just proclaim yourself a female and be able to compete against women. There must be some standards, and having a penis and competing as a woman would not fit that standard.”
She reportedly said that she would do research on the subject, but said that her earlier views “have strengthened.”
“It’s insane and it’s cheating,” she wrote.
“I am happy to address a transgender woman in whatever form she prefers, but I would not be happy to compete against her. It would not be fair.”
Fascinating article in @thesundaytimes – @Martina promised to go away and research trans competitors after previous comments- her conclusion is that the evidence of the advantage they have is clear and she won’t be bullied from saying so – a significant intervention. pic.twitter.com/BgLRPYuZ9R
— Peter Lynas (@peterlynas) February 17, 2019
Her column was criticized by some as transphobic.
The Guardian reported that Rachel McKinnon, who was the first transgender woman to win a cyclist world title, issued a statement to the paper calling the column “disturbing.”
Navratilova says trans players are 'cheats', but she was coached by one: There is a deep irony to Martina Navratilova's claim in a newspaper article that trans women have a physical advantage over "innocent" cisgender women, w.. https://t.co/OtYmwZTg4L pic.twitter.com/STwkfz0zks
— FinancialPartners (@FINANCEPartners) February 19, 2019
We’re pretty devastated to discover that Martina Navratilova is transphobic. If trans women had an advantage in sport, why aren’t trans women winning gold medals left, right & centre? Coz trans women don’t have an advantage. Look up the changes that oestrogen makes to the body.
— Trans Actual (@TransActualUK) February 17, 2019
Navratilova called out her critics and what she sees as “a growing tendency among transgender activists to denounce anyone who argues against them.”
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