Martina Navratilova has become embroiled in a row with the transgender community after she claimed that people born male should not compete in women’s sporting events.
Navratilova, 62, a former Wimbledon champion and LGBT campaigner, was accused of being ‘transphobic’, following her remarks which she made on social media.
Her comments had come in response to a question from a follower about transgender women in sport. She was forced to delete the comments last night following criticism.
‘Clearly that can’t be right. You can’t just proclaim yourself a female and be able to compete against women. There must be some standards, and having a penis and competing as a woman would not fit that standard.
Martina Navratilova (pictured, left) came under fire from Dr Rachel McKinnon (right) who accused her of transphobia
‘For me it’s all about fairness. Which means taking every case individually… there is no cookie cutter way of doing things.’
Her accusers included Dr Rachel McKinnon, a transgender activist and competitive cyclist who won a women’s event at the UCI Masters Track World Championship, earlier this year.
Dr McKinnon, who was born male, demanded that Navratilova apologise and criticised the comments.
She wrote: ‘Genitals do not play sports. What part of a penis is related to tennis? How does that “level” any playing field?’
The government held a consultation on changes to the Gender Recognition Act, between July and October this year, which has been accused of toxifying the transgender debate.
Navratilova said that she stood by her comments and wouldn’t be ‘bullied’ into silence.
She did concede, however, that she would leave the conversation since ‘it seems to be my decades of speaking out against unfairness and inequality just don’t count with you at all’.
Dr McKinnon said Ms Navratilova’s LGBT campaigning ‘doesn’t change the fact that you did something very wrong today. Past good deeds don’t give someone a pass.’
Navratilova had originally said in response to the criticism: ‘I am sorry if I said anything anywhere near transphobic – I meant no harm. I will educate myself better on this issue but meantime I will be quiet about it.
She then clarified: ‘Rachel [Dr McKinnon], you might be an expert on all things trans but you are one nasty human.’