After a male weightlifter qualified for female competitions at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, a women’s rights group is speaking out against the blatant unfairness this decision will mean for women in the sport.
Laurel Hubbard, a 6-foot-tall 286-pound male New Zealander who identifies as a female, qualified for the Olympics after dominating a weightlifting event in mid-July.
Hubbard entered the female division and walked away with multiple gold medals.
Another Gold for male-born weightlifter Laurel Hubbard this time at the Pacific games. Hubbard is on track for Olympic Gold at Tokyo 2020. It’s not the women in this photo who should be hanging their heads. Sports policy makers must wake up. #FairPlayForWomen. pic.twitter.com/CJ8sT4Qkub
— FairPlayForWomen (@fairplaywomen) July 13, 2019
But not everyone is on board with Hubbard’s “accomplishments.”
New Zealand-based Speak Up For Women, an organization that advocates for sports to be categorized by biological sex, not gender identity, condemned the decision.
“Our sporting organisations in New Zealand are enabling a practice that has been described by researchers from Otago University as ‘intolerably unfair’ – biologically male athletes competing in women’s sport,” the group posted to its website.
“We are calling on the New Zealand Olympic Committee, Sport New Zealand, and the Minister for Sport Hon Grant Robertson,” the post continues, “to put a stop to disadvantaging women and girls by making clear in policy and practice that women/girls and men/boys categories MUST be determined by SEX and not gender identity.”
“Not everyone supports me or accepts me.”
Transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard is set to compete despite facing criticism over her status.
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) April 8, 2018
A decade ago this statement would have been called common sense.
Now, there’s an aggressive movement that deems remarks such as these as “hate speech,” rather than a biological fact.
International Olympic Committee guidelines allow transgender athletes to participate as long as they do not exceed a certain testosterone threshold.
However, for those competing against Hubbard, this can’t offset other advantages — including bone density and muscle mass — that come from being a biological male.
Speak Up For Women and other groups’ fight for true fairness is just getting started.
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