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Commentary

Olympic Medalist Speaks Out Against Transgender Athletes: 'Should Not Be Able' To Compete

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Apparently, pointing out the obvious makes you a peddler of “hate speech,” at least when it comes to transgender athletes. One British Olympic swimmer is finding that out the hard way.

Sharron Davies, a silver medalist at the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow, is currently at the center of a controversy after she tweeted that she didn’t believe biological males ought to be able to compete in women’s events.

“I have nothing against anyone who wishes 2be transgender,” she tweeted.

“However I believe there is a fundamental difference between the binary sex u r born with & the gender u may identify as. To protect women’s sport those with a male sex advantage should not be able 2compete in women’s sport.”

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According to the Plymouth (U.K.) Herald, Davies, 56, says she didn’t intend to offend anyone with the tweet.

She also said that others in sports felt the same way, but most weren’t going to speak out.

“Every single woman athlete I’ve spoken to, and I have spoken to many, all of my friends in international sports, understand and feel the same way as me,” she told the BBC.

Do you think biological males should be able to compete in women's sports?

“Unfortunately, a lot of people who are in the races (now) are in a very difficult predicament when they can’t speak out. It maybe falls to the people who were competing (in the past) who would understand the predicament that is being faced at the moment to try to create a debate, and try to explain how we feel there needs to be a fair and level playing field.”

That sounds reasonable enough, no?

Not to transgender cyclist Rachel McKinnon, who went on Twitter to call Davies a “transphobe” who was “sharing hate speech.”

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“There is no debate to be had over whether trans women athletes have an unfair advantage: it’s clear that they don’t,” McKinnon wrote.

Of course, don’t tell that to female track athletes in Connecticut, where two biological males have been running away (pun unintended) with the competitions this year.

“I am very happy for these athletes and I fully support them for being true to themselves and having the courage to do what they believe in,” Selina Soule, one of the other competitors, told Fox News.

“But, in athletics, it’s an entirely different situation. It’s scientifically proven that males are built to be physically stronger than females. It’s unfair to put someone who is biologically a male, who has not undergone anything in terms of hormone therapy, against cisgender girls.”

Even with hormone therapy, there are still significant differences in terms of bone structure and physical makeup that can confer advantages. At least Davies wasn’t alone in pointing this out.

“This is not about how people live their lives, who they are or who people chose to be; that should never be questioned,” middle-distance British runner Dame Kelly Holmes, a former gold-medalist, said in Davies’ defense, the Plymouth Herald reported. “But setting fair and safe markers in sport is a must.”

Even if it means risking being called out for “sharing hate speech.”

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Birthplace
Morristown, New Jersey
Education
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture




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