By Brooke Sopelsa
Athlete Ally, a non-profit organization that advocates for the inclusion of LGBTQ people and equality in sport, broke with Martina Navratilova following Sunday's controversial op controversy in which tennis star called transgender women who compete in the "cheats" of women's sport.
"Athlete Ally is unequivocally positioned on the side of trans athletes and their right to play sports without any discrimination," the organization said in a statement. "Martina Navratilova's recent comments on trans athletes are transphobic, based on a misunderstanding of science and data, and perpetuate dangerous myths that lead to the continued targeting of trans people through discriminatory laws, hateful stereotypes and violence. disproportionate. "
The non-profit association then noted that Navratilova had been "removed from our advisory board and as Athlete Ally's ambassador, from now on".
Navratilova, who has been out since 1981 – first bisexual then lesbian – turned to transgender women seeking to compete in women's sports in the op-ed published in this week's Sunday Times.
"Let men compete as women, just if they change their name and take hormones, it's unfair," she wrote. "Simply reducing the levels of hormones – the prescription adopted by most sports – does not solve the problem."
"In simple terms, a man can decide to be a woman, take hormones at the request of a sports organization, win everything and maybe make a small fortune, then reverse his decision and come back. in manufacturing. babies he wants, "she continued. "It's crazy and it's cheating. I am happy to talk to a transgender woman in the form that she prefers, but I would not be happy to compete with her. It would not be fair.
This is not the first time Navratilova has made controversial comments about trans women who compete in women's sports. In December, she connected to Twitter and wrote, "You can not just proclaim yourself a woman and compete against women. There must be certain standards, and having a penis and competing as a woman would not fit that standard. "
Her tweet caught the attention of Canadian Rachel McKinnon, who last October first transgender woman to win world title in track cycling. The two women engaged in a clash on the social media platform, which led McKinnon to call Navratilova "transphobic" and Navratilova to call McKinnon "nasty human being."
At the end of her editorial, Navratilova again targeted McKinnon, claiming that she and other transgendered activists have a "growing tendency" to "denounce anyone who argues them and call them" transphobic "".
"It's just another form of tyranny," wrote Navratilova. "I am relatively tough and have been able to defend myself during my Twitter exchange with McKinnon, but I fear others will be intimidated by silence or submission."
McKinnon, who applauded Athlete Ally's decision to break ties with Navratilova, described her editorial in the Sunday Times as "disturbing, upsetting and deeply transphobic".
"She uses age-old stereotypes and the stigmatization of trans women, considering us as men claiming to be real women," McKinnon said in a statement sent to NBC News.
"It's an irrational fear of transgender women, which is the very definition of transphobia," said McKinnon. "We do not denounce her as transphobic simply because she" disagrees "with the transsexual women who support inclusive sport.His statements are transphobic because they are based on an irrational fear and they perpetuate an aversion to transsexual women.And having one or two transsexual friends does not prevent someone from expressing her transphobic opinions. "
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