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LGBTQ organisation cuts ties with tennis legend Martina Navratilova after transphobic comments

The openly gay tennis star said transgender athletes are 'cheating'

2019-02-20

An organisation that campaigns for LGBTQ sportspeople has cut ties with tennis legend Martina Navratilova after she made transphobic comments.

The openly gay 18-times Grand Slam winner shocked the world when she claimed that male-to-female transgender athletes are ‘cheating’ and said she would not be happy to compete against a transgender woman.

She wrote in The Sunday Times: “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.

“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.”

Following her comments, LGBTQ sportspeople quickly hit back at her including trans sportswoman, Rachel McKinnon who became the first transgender woman to win a world track cycling title.

Now, the BBC report the US-based organisation Athlete Ally have cut ties with the tennis legend and called her remarks transphobic and said they perpetuated myths.

In a statement, the organisation wrote that her comments were “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 statement continued: "This is not the first time we have approached Martina on this topic.

“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."