Tennis Legend Under Fire Over Transgender Comments

LGBT group severs links with Navratilova over transgender comments

LGBT group drops Martina Navratilova over transgender comments

Martina Navratilova, one of the first openly gay major sports figures, has run afoul of the LGBT movement for calling it "cheating" to allow transgender females to participate in women's sports.

Athlete Ally believes in the power of sport to advance equality, dismantle stereotypes and build a more inclusive society and the company said Navratilova's comments are in "stark contrast" to that.

"Given this, Navratilova has been removed from our Advisory Board and as an Athlete Ally Ambassador, effective immediately".

"As an organization dedicated to addressing root causes of homophobia and transphobia in and through sport", the statement continued, "we will only affiliate with those committed to the same goal, and not those who further misinformation or discrimination in any way".

"Trans women are women, period".

Navratilova, a lesbian and an 18-times Grand Slam victor, called it "cheating" for trans women to compete in women's sports.

Trans rights groups pushed back on Navratilova's claims, saying that athletic organizations - such as the International Olympic Committee - have standards for allowing transwomen to compete against biological women. You can't just proclaim yourself a female and be able to compete against women.

As Navratilova says, "There must be some standards", which should bar someone from "having a penis and competing as a woman".

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"We're pretty devastated to discover that Martina Navratilova is transphobic", tweeted Trans Actual, a group that "aims to highlight issues affecting the trans community in the United Kingdom and beyond".

Wimbledon champion Navratilova, who has campaigned for gay rights and suffered abuse when she came out in the 1980s, argued trans women have unfair physical advantages.

An article she wrote for the Sunday Times has stirred controversy and caused an LGBT athletes group to remove her from their board and completely cut ties.

The IAAF introduced a rule in April 2018 that would have forced women with naturally high testosterone levels to take hormone therapy to lower them to compete in track events from 400 metres to one mile, had it not been challenged by her and Athletics South Africa.

The organization also said this wasn't the first time they've spoken to the tennis legend about her comments and pointed to a tweet she posted in December. "We reached out directly offering to be a resource as she sought further education, and we never heard back".

Rachel McKinnon, who previous year became the first transgender woman to win a world track cycling title, called the comments "disturbing, upsetting and deeply transphobic".

McKinnon lambasted Navratilova's comments as "disturbing, upsetting, and deeply transphobic".

Asked about those speaking in defense of Navratilova, McKinnon said most women athletes had no issue with competing against trans women: "It's only a small, very loud minority who oppose us, and who happen to receive a great deal of media coverage".

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