Tennis legend Navratilova angers transgender community

No good deed goes unpunished. Even lesbian and former Wimbledon champion Martina Navratilova can be called transphobic.

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On her Twitter profile, former campaigner for equality Martina Navratilova claimed that people who were born male should not be allowed to compete in women’s sports events. The former Wimbledon winner was swiftly accused of being “transphobic” by Rachel McKinnon, the leader of something what can be called “Trans Taliban“.

Navratilova’s remarks came in response to a question from a Twitter follower who asked her about transgender women in sport: “Clearly that can’t be right. You can’t just proclaim yourself a female and be able to compete against women,” the nine-time Wimbledon champion wrote. “There must be some standards and having a penis and competing as a woman would not fit that standard,” she added.

That is transphobic, wrote McKinnon to the tennis players on Twitter. “Genitals do not play sports,” she continued and asked: “What part of a penis is related to tennis? How does that ‘level’ any playing field?” She started the avalanche of tweets in which “women” of the trans community attacked Navratilova.

The fact that Navratilova was the target of the “Trans Taliban” is way too strange. The emigrant from the former Communist Czechoslovakia admitted lesbian orientation back in 1981, when it was nearly a crime. After she came out with truth, some of the audience whistled, sponsors were cancelling contracts and her coach Renne Richards suffered threats.

Navratilova defended the LGBT community, including transgenders. Two years ago, she even criticized former tennis No. 1 Margaret Court for demonishing the transgender population when Court said that transgenders are the devil’s work.

Navratilova deleted the tweet under pressure, apologized and wrote that she would no longer comment on the topic. After repeated attacks she changed her mind. “I will not be silent,” she wrote, adding one clear message for McKinnon – “You’re a terrible person.”

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