Tennis great Martina Navratilova found herself in the middle of a social media controversy in December 2018 after she expressed her views on competing against transgendered athletes in sports.
Navratilova said that while she was willing to address a transgendered individual based on their preference of being called ‘he’ or ‘she’, she was against the idea of having transgendered athletes compete against women.
Navratilova who holds the record for winning the most singles and doubles titles in the game is a lesbian who has campaigned for the rights of the LGBTQ group in the past. However, she hasn’t backed down from her stance and recently wrote a piece on the same issue in the Sunday Times which has once again caused controversy.
The LGBTQ Group called Athlete Ally who campaigns for putting an end to transphobia and homophobia in athletics and sports had signed Martina Navratilova as their brand ambassador and had her on their advisory board.
The group had reached out to Navratilova after her comments in December 2018 to seek clarification but got no response. After the Sunday Times article, Athlete Ally decided that it was time to cut all ties with the tennis ace.
In a statement, the group claimed that Navaratilova’s comments were
transphobic, based on false understanding of science and data, and perpetuated dangerous myths that lead to the ongoing targeting of trans people through discriminatory laws, hateful stereotypes and disproportionate violence.
Navratilova Views In The Sunday Times Article
Navratilova said it was just wrong for a man to claim that he is transgendered, take a set of hormones as required by certain sporting organizations and then compete against women as it gives the transgendered person a distinct and unfair advantage. Once their tenure is sport is over, they can go back to being a man and make babies.
The 18 time Tennis Grand Slam champion minced no words in her article and called this blatant cheating. The article has once again put her at odds with the LGBTQ community and a number of transgendered athletes who have taken to social media to throw a lot of hate her way.
The irony of all this is that Navratilova has campaigned for years against homophobia and has passed up a number of sponsorship opportunities and lucrative offers because of her stance on these issues. Just because she has opposed the inequality of transgenders competing in sports, she has fallen foul of the community.