LGBT group cuts ties with Martina Navratilova over anti-trans comments

LGBT group Athlete Ally cut ties with Martina Navratilova over her anti-trans comments in the Sunday Times. (Getty Images)
LGBT group Athlete Ally cut ties with Martina Navratilova over her anti-trans comments in the Sunday Times. (Getty Images)

Tennis legend Martina Navratilova is in hot water again over anti-trans comments. 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.

In the article, which was posted on Sunday, Navratilova referred to trans women as men who “decide to be female,” and wrote that it would be “cheating and unfair” for them to compete against cisgender women (women who had been assigned female at birth). She argued that “it’s insane and it’s cheating” that “a man can decide to be female, take hormones if required by whatever sporting organization 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’s comments did not sit well with the organization Athlete Ally. Navratilova had been involved with Athlete Ally as an ambassador, and also held a seat on its advisory board. In the wake of her article, Athlete Ally released a statement announcing that it had completely cut ties with Navratilova, removing her from the advisory board and as an ambassador.

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

This isn’t the first time Navratilova has come under fire for making anti-trans comments. In December she tweeted a controversial statement about trans women athletes:

“Clearly that can’t be right. You can’t just proclaim yourself a female and be able to compete against women. There must be some standards, and having a penis and competing as a woman would not fit that standard…”

Navratilova then deleted the tweet and pledged to educate herself on the issue while being “quiet about it” in the meantime. Judging by the outcry from her article, Navratilova might want to hit those books again and continue her self-education on trans issues.

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