Martina Navratilova opposes absolute transgender equality in women’s sports

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Martina Navratilova believes that transgender individuals who have experienced all or part of male puberty have an unfair advantage in women’s sports. After President Joe Biden signed the Executive Order on Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation on January 20, designed to allow equal transgender participation in school sports, the tennis legend asked for a special provision to be made for elite sport.

The 18-time Grand Slam singles champion Navratilova is urging for a separate provision from the executive order to limit the participation of biological boys and men who identify as females in women’s sport, explaining that their absolute equality would endanger the future of women’s competition.

While Navratilova insists that she support equal rights, her goal is to protect biological female athletes from unfair competition against physically superior transgender women competitors who had gone through male puberty. The tennis legend is part of the Women’s Sports Policy Working Group and they strive to create a “science-based, ethical approach” to “establish a middle ground that both protects girls’ and women’s sport and accommodates transgender athletes.”

When it comes to professional tennis, according to the current WTA Gender Participation Policy, a player who transitions from male to female is eligible to compete on the tour, but there are some conditions that have to be met. Most importantly, the player’s total testosterone level in serum must have been below 10 nmol/L for at least twelve months prior to her first WTA event and it must remain in that range throughout the period of desired eligibility to enter into and participate in any WTA tournament. (source: ESPN, photo: Jimmie48)


  1. This is such a difficult issue. The transgender women want to be treated and compete as women but the reality is that they are physically not the same as women and will never be. Particularly if they have gone through male puberty as Martina says. But no doubt she will get shot down in flames for saying it.

  2. Winning some of the major tennis or golf tournaments can earn millions of dollars for some top female athletes. And my understanding is that the top 900 ranked male tennis players in the world can beat a number-one ranked female tennis player. If I am one of the financially struggling 900 male tennis players, I would be seriously attempted to claim as a transgender and go for that million$ in the US Open, French Open, and so on. If this inclusiveness of transgender athlete movement is allowed, and we can’t just cherry-pick only at an amateur level but needs to be played out at the highest level including the major tennis tournaments. And if this happens, there would be almost no female athletes competing at the highest level, especially in a sport where a winner can earn millions. And in time, I believe it would greatly discourage any young girls to play sports and put their earnest effort and time to reach for their goal, knowing that they would be close to impossible to compete at an equal level no matter how hard they may try.


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