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Martina Navratilova apologises for transphobic comments after saying trans athletes are 'cheating'

The tennis legend claimed male-to-female athletes are 'cheating' in an article in The Sunday Times

2019-03-04

Martina Navratilova has apologised for transphobic comments after saying trans athletes are 'cheating'.

The openly gay 18-times Grand Slam winner shocked the world when she claimed that male-to-female transgender athletes are ‘cheating’ and said she would not be happy to compete against a transgender woman.

She wrote in The Sunday Times: “A man can decide to be female, take hormones if required by whatever sporting organisation is concerned, win everything in sight and perhaps earn a small fortune, and then reverse his decision and go back to making babies if he so desires.

“It’s insane and it’s cheating. I am happy to address a transgender woman in whatever form she prefers, but I would not be happy to compete against her. It would not be fair.”

Following her comments, LGBTQ sportspeople quickly hit back at her including trans sportswoman, Rachel McKinnon who became the first transgender woman to win a world track cycling title.

But now, the tennis legend has apologised for her comments after it was reported she was drooped as an ambassador for the LGBTQ organisation Athlete Ally.

She wrote in a blog post: “I know that my use of the word 'cheat' caused particular offence among the transgender community.

“I'm sorry for that because I certainly was not suggesting that transgender athletes in general are cheats.

“I attached the label to a notional case in which someone cynically changes gender, perhaps temporarily, to gain a competitive advantage.”