Wednesday, February 20, 2019

In Baldly Cynical Move, Athlete Ally Drops Martina Navratilova From Its Advisory Board

Athlete Ally, a group whose purported mission is to "end the rampant homophobia and transphobia in sport" announced Tuesday that it had dropped Martina Navratilova from its advisory board because of her op-ed in London's Sunday Times in which she says trans women should not be allowed to compete against cisgender women.

Without a doubt, Navratilova has handled the topic about as horribly as anyone could. (I outline how here.)  I think she's not used to having someone really get in her face and tell her what to do/think, so trans cyclist Rachel McKinnon clearly pushed her buttons. (To be fair, McKinnon is also pretty awful about the way she communicates.) But this was never about Navratilova. The real question is this: Don’t all athletes deserve fairness?* And just because the odds of someone trans becoming a top-level athlete are so minuscule, should Navratilova just keep quiet? My feeling has always been, kinda, yes, which is why I said I support the IOC and NCAA's findings for inclusion, however they were determined. (I've searched high and low for this science that supports that trans women are actually at a disadvantage competing against cis women, but the only thing I can find is that "it depends who you ask." How's that for science?)

But if we're setting guidelines for a group of people who are suddenly growing in visibility -- and perhaps number, now that it's becoming more socially acceptable for trans people to live their authentic lives -- shouldn't we be more forward-looking than just trying to avoid incurring the wrath of trans activists?

Transgender journalist reduced to Trumpesque insults 

I think that's all Navratilova is asking. But as I've experienced first-hand, you're not allowed to without being labeled transphobic, or worse.
As far as the Athlete Ally snub goes let's be clear about one thing: A friend who is in a position to know about these things said the group was essentially formed by a bunch of well-heeled gay men who wanted a way to garner access to celebrities -- they've been particularly successful with tennis players. So while I think any visibility it has added to LGBTQ sports is worthwhile, there's nothing particularly distinguished about it. (In other words, I doubt Martina is losing much sleep over this.) In fact, Athlete Ally's true motivations have been called into question more than once.

To that point, it strikes me as very "Amazon dropping Woody Allen (over claims it already knew about when it got involved with him) so that it looks woke now" that Athlete Ally is reacting this way given that when it needed a high-profile trans person to "honor" in 2015, the organization selected Dr. Renee Richards -- even though Richards was already on the record agreeing with Navratilova about trans athletes. As the queens like to say, it's not a good look. Perhaps this is another example of "woke privilege."

I've reached out to Athlete Ally and will update if I hear back from them. 

From HERE.

*And while I know it's easy to lose sight of things in our echo chambers, does no one think it might be confusing for even the most open-minded person to see a trans boy -- who has been taking low-level testosterone injections but is competing in the girls -- killing all of the cisgender girls in high-school wrestling matches? I don't fault the boy, who would prefer to wrestle other boys but can't because the people in charge will only let him compete against the gender listed on his birth certificate. (His desire to compete must trump his desire to be properly gendered, which is typically the most paramount thing for transgender people I know.) But if the University Interscholastic League thinks this is fair -- he's injecting testosterone! -- why should anyone have faith in other governing boards' decisions? 

Pam Shriver had the perfect rejoinder for Billie Jean King’s (understandably) status quo response. 


Rix said...

Basically changed one word of the commonsense approach and got into some ugly territory. "physiological differences between the races"

The same type arguments were used against integrating competitive sports.

This may be why the governing bodies are trying to proceed with extreme caution.

For the most flubbed up public statements: Martina is in the running with the three top execs of Virginia this year.

demc7 said...

Gender and sexuality are 2 vastly different things. I'm starting to think it may be wise for the groups to split and go their own ways.

demc7 said...

Russia has been cheating at sports for decades- how long do people think it will take them to seize on this and push 50 males athletes into transition and have them compete in women's events? They pumped women full of growth hormones for years, now- they won't have to.

demc7 said...

if there's no advantage for trans women in women's sports, then there wouldn't be any disadvantage for trans men in men's why don't we see any trans men in the NFL, NBA, etc.?