Should transgender athletes be allowed in women's sport? UFC fighter-turned-soldier weighs in 

Former UFC fighter Tim Kennedy on the transgender athlete debate [Image courtesy: @timkennedymma on Instagram]
Former UFC fighter Tim Kennedy on the transgender athlete debate [Image courtesy: @timkennedymma on Instagram]

Former UFC fighter Tim Kennedy recently weighed in on the transgender athlete debate.

Kennedy hailed the protest of Kiwi powerlifter Dale Shepherd against gender self-identification in sports. The former New Zealand's Strongest man has applied to enter a competition in the women's category as a sign of protest against transgender athletes competing in the women's divisions.

The former UFC middleweight-turned-soldier and author wrote on Twitter:

"This is genius. Just making idiotic policies look idiotic."

Shepherd, who holds nearly two dozen national records, believes both female and transgender athletes should be allowed to compete in sports, but in separate divisions. Like many others, the 52-year-old firmly believes that hormonal treatment received by a trans athlete doesn't negate the physical effects of having spent all previous years as a male.

Dale Shepherd recently told pro-women outlet Reduxx:

"Regardless of hormone treatment such as giving a biological male estrogen – the hormone primarily responsible for female characteristics – it does not totally negate all the years that male has had with higher testosterone levels resulting in greater bone density, tendon and muscle strength."

He added:

"To maintain equity and preserve women’s sports, transgenders and biological women must have their own separate classes or eventually all women’s sports will be overtaken by biological men who now identify as a woman.”

UFC president Dana White's take on transgender athletes

UFC fans and fighters generally aren't open to the idea of transgender fighters competing against women. Company A-listers like Ronda Rousey and Joe Rogan have argued in the past that the physical attributes and advantages of a man don't change even after he has transitioned into a woman.

But UFC president Dana White, being the sharp businessman that he is, carefully dodged a question regarding the same last year on Logan Paul's IMPAULSIVE podcast last year. Most recently, White claimed that the promotion doesn't encourage "woke" practices in an interview with FOX News.

Back in 2013, former UFC heavyweight Matt Mitrione came under fire for transphobic comments directed at trans fighter Fallon Fox. While Mitrione was suspended, White admitted that he did not necessarily disagree with the heavyweight slugger.

White told MMA Junkie in an earlier interview:

"It’s not that I don’t necessarily agree with what [Mitrione] was saying because I have the same issue with a man who becomes a woman. You have different bone structure. You have a different jawline. You have all the things of a man. It’s completely different. But he knew what he did was wrong." h/t MMA Junkie

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