LGBT group cuts ties with tennis star Martina Navratilova over transgender comments

LGBT group cuts ties with tennis star Martina Navratilova over transgender comments
By Euronews
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Tennis legend Martina Navratilova was dropped by an LGBT group for comments made in her opinion article in the Sunday Times, in which she said it was "cheating" for a transgender woman to take part in women's sports.


An LGBT group has cut ties with tennis legend Martina Navratilova following her comments in a British newspaper that suggested transgender women would be "cheating" if they competed in women's sports.

"A man can decide to be female, take hormones if required by whatever sporting organisation is concerned, win everything in sight and perhaps earn a small fortune, and then reverse his decision and go back to making babies if he so desires," Navratilova wrote in the Sunday Times.

"It's insane and it's cheating. 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."

Athlete Ally, a non-profit organisation aiming at making sports more inclusive, said in a statement on Tuesday that Navratilova had been removed from its advisory board and as its ambassador, saying her comments were "transphobic".

"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 through discriminatory laws, hateful stereotypes and disproportionate violence," the group said, before adding that it was not the first time the tennis star had been warned about her comments.

"This is not the first time we have approached Martina on this topic," the statement said. "In late December, she made deeply troubling comments across her social media channels about the ability for trans athletes to compete in sport. We reached out directly offering to be a resource as she sought further education, and we never heard back."

There was a huge response on social media to Navratilova's comments on both sides of the debate.

However, the reactions from Rachel McKinnon, the first transgender woman to win the UCI Master Track Cycling competition, garnered much support.

"I find it confusing and shocking that Martina can't even make a distinction between something she thinks, wrongly, is unfair... and cheating," she wrote on Twitter.

"Trans athletes aren't breaking ANY rules of sport. We are categorically NOT cheating."

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