February 23, 2019
By Jim Daws
Martina Navratilova is one of the greatest female tennis players of all time. She holds the record for most singles and doubles titles in the Open Era (167 and 177, respectively), including 17 Grand Slam singles titles. For 15 straight years, from 1977 to 1993, she never fell below the top 3 ranking in Women’s Tennis Association singles. At a time when baseline play was the norm, she revolutionized women’s tennis with her aggressive serve and volley style reminiscent of her male counterparts of the era.
Navratilova defected from communist Czechoslovakia in 1975 and became a U.S. citizen in 1981. That same year, when there was still a price to be paid for doing so, she came out as a lesbian and has since engaged in a long career of LGBT activism. She lent her name and support to ballot initiatives, spoke at LGBT marches, and in 2000 was the recipient of the National Equality Award from the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBT lobbying group. She is active on Twitter and firmly in the Orange Man Bad camp. No one could ever accuse Martina of not being down for the cause.
All this was not enough to protect Navratilova from ostracization and accusations of bigotry last week when she questioned the wisdom of allowing men pretending to be women to compete in women’s sports. In an equivocal, diplomatic, almost apologetic column in the Sunday Times, she suggested that men have an unfair advantage over actual women.
Perhaps in recognition of the absurdity of their position, the reaction from transsexual, transgender activists was quick, severe, and unforgiving. Navratilova was accused of being “transphobic” on social media, attacked in the LGBT press, and kicked off the board of an organization called Athlete Ally that promotes athletes based on their sexual orientation.
To normal people, it’s common sense that the reason men and women compete separately is so females can experience the many benefits of athletic competition. From health benefits to life lessons from sportsmanship to lucrative careers, girls and women in Western nations have long enjoyed many of the same athletic opportunities as their male counterparts. Pioneering women, including Navratilova herself, have struggled to win equal access to sporting competition.
All of that is now under threat, as radical transsexual activists have demanded and won the right for male athletes to compete against women and girls. The results of this lunacy have not been pretty, as larger, more muscular men win events, take titles, and destroy records in women’s sports.
In Australia, 39-year-old transgender weightlifter Laurel (né Gavin) Hubbard easily crushed the competition to win the international title by more than 20 lbs. Looking at the photos from the event, it’s puzzling why a large, burly man is on the podium, looking down on the female competitors. Weightlifter Deborah Acason, from the Australian Weightlifting Federation, asked, “If it’s not even, why are we even doing the sport?”
At the Connecticut state track and field championships, Terry Miller, a sophomore who had competed the prior year as a boy, won the girls’ 100- and 200-meter dashes, setting state records in both events. Adding insult to injury, another boy, Andraya Yearwood, came in second in both events after having won them the previous year. One of the girl competitors understandably complained, “I think it’s unfair to the girls who work really hard to do well and qualify for Open and New England’s.”
Last year, at the widely publicized event that first caught Navratilova’s attention, Dr. Rachel McKinnon, a male, took the UCI Masters cycling world championship in the 35- to 44-year-old class from his much smaller female opponents. When the third place finisher said she believed that it was not a fair competition, she was attacked and shamed relentlessly online until she apologized and withdrew her comment.
These travesties have become all too common as one sport’s governing body after another capitulates to the P.C. mob. At the 2018 Winter Olympics, the International Olympic Committee, one of the elite sanctioning bodies in sports, allowed men to compete in women’s events with no restriction on testosterone levels or physiology.
For participation in sports to be attractive to participants the competition and chance for victory must be fair — it’s why sports have rules to begin with. Why compete if the deck is stacked against you? Athletic competition is just as valuable to women and girls as it is to men and boys, and it has great benefits to the larger society. None of it should be sacrificed to a tiny fraction of gender-dysphoric males who dream of competing against actual females.
Navratilova was attacked for speaking an obvious truth. Let’s hope she is the first of many high-profile female athletes who have the courage to speak out and put a stop to this madness.
The author hosts Right Now with Jim Daws, a webcast on news, politics, and culture from an American nationalist perspective — https://twitter.com/RightNowJimDaws.