"This has to stop!" - Martina Navratilova condemns the inclusion of transgender athletes in women’s college volleyball

S Shahi
Martina Navratilova blasts transgender inclusion in women’s college volleyball
Martina Navratilova blasts transgender inclusion in women’s college volleyball

Martina Navratilova has expressed her outrage over the inclusion of five transgender athletes in a women’s college volleyball game in Canada.

Navratilova, widely regarded as one of the greatest female tennis players of all time, is also an outspoken advocate for LGBTQ+ rights. She came out as a lesbian in 1981 and has been a vocal supporter of gay marriage and anti-discrimination laws.

However, the Czech-American has also been critical of transgender athletes competing in women’s sports, arguing that they have an unfair advantage over biological women.

Canadian media website Rebel News, known for its far-right political and social commentary, reported that five transgender athletes participated in a collegiate women's volleyball game on January 24.

The match, featuring Centennial College against Seneca College in Toronto, included two transgender athletes on the Centennial Colts and three on the Seneca Sting. The Stings emerged victorious with a 3-1 score.

The report sparked outrage among those who believe only biological women should be allowed to compete in women's sports. One user shared the article on X (formerly Twitter) and wrote:

"This is not diversity. This is cheating. This is insanity. This is misogyny."

Navratilova quoted the user’s tweet and shared her thoughts, writing:

"Just how wrong is this? Yup, this wrong. This has to stop!"

"Not against trans athletes, we are for women to compete on a level field" - Martina Navratilova defends her position on trans athletes in women's sports

Martina Navratilova at the 2023 WTA Finals
Martina Navratilova at the 2023 WTA Finals

Martina Navratilova clarified that her advocacy is specifically directed against "male bodies competing as women" rather than being a general opposition to transgender athletes.

Navratilova has expressed discontent with transgender individuals entering women's sports spaces, leading to her being labeled 'transphobic.' The Czech-American defended her perspective on the 'On with Kara Swisher' podcast in December 2023.

"We are not against trans athletes," Navratilova said. "We are for women athletes to compete on as level a playing field as possible, which means the males who now identify as women, should compete in a male category and women who identify as men but don't take testosterone can compete as women. Because there is still no advantage physically over other women athletes."

Navratilova stated that she opposes biologically male athletes capitalizing on their physical advantages when competing against women.

"I'm all for trans rights on a civil level, a hundred percent. And this is not against trans athletes. This is against male bodies competing as women if they identify as women. Many sports don't even have any mitigation, any allowance for lowering the testosterone level, et cetera," she added.

The 18-time Grand Slam champion proceeded to describe the characteristics of the male body that provide them with an initial advantage over female competitors.

"It has been proven even when you do take those testosterone blockers or hormone therapy, even after 15 years, male bodies still retain physical advantage over women athletes. They're taller, and their bone density, their lung capacity, their skeletal structure, even their airways are larger than women," Martina Navratilova continued.