Tennis legend Martina Navratilova is the loudest advocate of keeping male-to-females out of women’s sports. Engaging in yet another heated conversation on X (former Twitter), the nine-time Wimbledon champion called out the United States Tennis Association for their transgender inclusion policy.
The tennis legend, who also fights for keeping people born as males out of women’s restrooms, insists that having trans women compete against biological women is not fair:
Come on USTA – women’s tennis is not for failed male athletes – whatever age. This is not right and it is not fair. Would this be allowed at the US Open this month? Just with self ID? I don’t think so…
The USTA has taken a stance that “tennis thrives when the sport embraces inclusion” and that the sport is “open to all, regardless of one’s age, ethnicity, race, religious background, sexual orientation or gender identity.”
Navratilova’s comment on X was to a post from Independent Council on Women’s Sports (ICONS) co-founder Kim Shasby Jones who urged tennis organizations to change their approach, triggered by the news that Alicia Rowley, born as a male, reportedly won the women’s 55+ Grass Court National Championships and National Indoor Singles and Doubles Championship. Here’s Shasby’s full message:
Women’s tennis is turning into a laughing stock because of these terrible policies prioritizing the mental health and identity of men over women who have discovered a love of tennis. The women are calling us and begging for help to be allowed to play fairly. They have complained; they don’t know where else to turn.
Men are winning national titles, taking the place of women on team tennis, and competing in women’s tournaments across the country. We need to let the women and girls playing tennis know that they deserve to be treated fairly and recognized for their accomplishments no matter when they pick up the sport. They do not have to reach any kind of elite status.
There is already a category for male athletes to enjoy this privilege. Let female athletes enjoy the game of tennis too. Change the policy and Billie Jean King change your stance – don’t abandon these women and this sport any longer.
Earlier this month, Jackie Fulkrod, the now former president of the Cheyenne Tennis Association board, resigned from her position in protest over the participation of a transgender player in the women’s draw of the Wyoming Governor’s Cup.