BBC Presenter Gabby Logan has said that it is not fair that transgender women can compete in sport alongside biologically female women.
Logan, who represented Wales in Rhythmic Gymnastics at the 1990 Commonwealth Games, said women’s sport needs to be “protected” and said many other athletes “feel the same way.” She stressed “This is not about attacking a community, it’s about saying: how can we make this a fair place for women to compete?”, reports the Mirror newspaper.
Her comments come as other famous sporting women including Sharon Davies and Martina Navratilova have spoken out against the unfairness of trans athletes competing against biological women.
British Olympic swimmer Davies said there were “fundamental differences” between the sexes and that it was not an example of a “fair and level playing field”.
She continued “I have nothing against anyone who wishes 2be transgender… 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.”
Meanwhile, Tennis Legend Martina Navratilova, a gay rights activist, wrote a column for the Sunday Times in which she said: “I am happy to address a transgender woman in whatever form she prefers, but I would not be happy to compete against her.” Navratilova added that it was “cheating”.
Their comments have faced serious backlash. One British sports columnist, Jonathan Liew of the Independent, said of the issue that it “falls under the most literal definition of transphobia: an irrational fear of the other, based on ingrained prejudice and occasionally pure ignorance”.
Rachel Mckinnon, a transgender college professor at Charleston College in the US, said that excluding trans athletes was like excluding black women “If Sharron Davies, Paula Radcliffe, or Martina Navratilova had said we need to keep black women out of sport to “protect it” and the “integrity of women’s sport that would be obviously racist. That’s why it’s obviously transphobic to exclude trans women now”
One school in the US has withdrawn from their athletic conference entirely over the issue. Grace Brethren Christian School Director George Hornickel stated that trans athletes competing as women was “a form of cheating” and that it “gives them an advantage over girls teams who only play female athletes.”