Athlete Ally, a New York-based group which supports LGBT people in sports, has removed 18-time Grand Slam winner Martina Navratilova as its ambassador and from their advisory board after she said in an article if transgender women are permitted to compete in women’s sports, and it would be considered cheating.
Navratilova wrote on Feb. 17, 2019, in the Sunday Times a piece entitled “The rules on trans athletes reward cheats and punish the innocent.” In the article, Navratilova said it was crazy when transgender athletes who “decided” to change their sex to female achieve honors that they could not get when they were men.
In a statement released by Athlete Alley the said:
Martina Navratilova’s recent comments on trans athletes are transphobic, based on a false understanding of science and data, and perpetuate dangerous myths that lead to the ongoing targeting of trans people.
Athlete Alley added that transgender women are women. They did not decide what their gender identity should be, just as an individual does not choose to have blue eyes or to be gay. They are true women who want to play sports and compete just like any other athlete.
Navratilova, a lesbian who experienced homophobic abuse when she came out in 1981, wrote in her article she would not consider it fair if she competed against a transgender woman.
On Feb. 19 Navratilova defended her statements. She tweeted to CNN on Twitter they should talk about the issues she raised, and the discussion was not about her.
In 2016 the International Olympic Committee set rules that permitted trans men to compete in sports without any restrictions. Trans women must show that for 12 months before competition their testosterone levels are at a certain level.
Written by Barbara Sobel
CNN: Martina Navratilova dropped by LGBT group over trans athletes row
The Times: The rules on trans athletes reward cheats and punish the innocent
The Guardian: LGBT group drops Martina Navratilova over transgender comments
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