"You might be ok with naked females in men's room, we're NOT": Martina Navratilova slams tennis journalist amid heated debate on transgender community

Martina Navratilova slams Ben Rothenberg
Martina Navratilova slams Ben Rothenberg

Tennis journalist Ben Rothenberg recently called out Martina Navratilova for 'insulting' the transgender community.

Over the last few years, Navratilova has been quite vocal in her opposition to the inclusion of transgender athletes in women's spaces and has naturally invited criticism for that.

Most recently, she came under criticism from Ben Rothenberg, who used Navratilova's recent X (formerly Twitter) post defending Harry Potter fame JK Rowling in the author's tiff with Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson over her views on transgenders.

Rothenberg termed Navratilova's actions 'petty bullying', writing:

"Hard to overstate what a bummer it is to see this continued turn from an icon of both women's tennis and LGBT history. And I think this petty bullying meaningfully undercut Navratilova's attempt at claiming moral high ground when it came to women's tennis going to Saudi Arabia."

Rothenberg claimed that Navratilova's insults are not limited to only transgender athletes, she constantly targets transgenders from all walks of life. He said:

"People assume I'm talking about sports debates when I talk about Martina. I'm not. Martina famously doesn’t “stick to sports,” and that’s hugely true of her constant comments about trans issues, where she frequently insults non-athlete trans folks sports (like Dylan Mulvaney).
Ben Rothenberg's tweet.
Ben Rothenberg's tweet.

Martina Navratilova offered a strong response to Rothenberg's rhetoric and told him to not abstain from making any comments.

"Oh Ben- just shows how utterly clueless you are when it comes to this… We just loooove when men tell what we should do or what we should think. Just sit this one out," the 18-time Grand Slam champion wrote.
"It's about women’s sex based spaces- and you are just another male who thinks that’s ok. You might be ok with naked females in the men’s locker room but we are not ok with naked males in women’s locker rooms," Navratilova added.
Martina Navratilova's tweets.
Martina Navratilova's tweets.

Rothenberg then labeled the tennis icon as a 'jerk', writing:

"I'm not even talking about any issue, honestly, I’m talking about why you've become such a jerk when discussing trans people, and why you spend so much of your time belittling others online. It's just this constant nastiness and mocking that is deeply off-putting and cruel."
Ben Rothenberg's tweet
Ben Rothenberg's tweet

Unhappy with the choice of words, Navratilova decided to block Rothenberg on X.

"Ok- you can now eff off- I will not [be] called a jerk by someone like you. Clearly the Kill the TERFs [Trans-exclusionary radical feminists] mantra is ok with you- blocked," she wrote.
Navratilova's tweet
Navratilova's tweet

"Block away, I hadn't followed you for years with how relentless your posting volume is anyhow" - Tennis journalist's response to Martina Navratilova

Martina Navratilova
Martina Navratilova

Further, Ben Rothenberg defended himself claiming the only purpose behind him calling Martina Navratilova out was to seek kindness for everyone and showed no remorse for getting blocked.

"I never said anything about killing or about TERFs, I just urged humanity and kindness when talking about a group of people trying to navigate this world as best they can. Block away, I hadn't followed you for years with how relentless your posting volume is anyhow," he replied.
Rothenberg's tweet.
Rothenberg's tweet.

At this, Navratilova decried Rothenberg's passing personal remarks.

"Shows how little attention you pay to what is actually going on. But a nice personal attack on your end," Martina Navratilova added.
Navratilova's tweet
Navratilova's tweet

Martina Navratilova cemented herself as one of the greatest tennis players of all time through a career that saw her win 18 Grand Slam singles titles and another 41 on the doubles circuit.

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Edited by Neelabhra Roy
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