Tennis legend Martina Navratilova was forced to apologize for comments she made on social media saying that natural born men who ‘proclaim themselves female’ should not be allowed to compete against women.
Navratilova’s remarks came in response to a question from a Twitter follower who asked her about transgender women in sport.
“Clearly that can’t be right. You can’t just proclaim yourself a female and be able to compete against women,” the nine-time Wimbledon champion wrote. “There must be some standards, and having a penis and competing as a woman would not fit that standard.”
The tennis legend triggered an uproar on social media with transgender community branding her comments as “bullying” and “discriminatory.”
She deleted her post, and then apologized for making the comments.
I am sorry if I said anything anywhere near transphobic- certainly I meant no harm – I will educate myself better on this issue but meantime I will be quiet about it. Thank you
— Martina Navratilova (@Martina) December 21, 2018
Some defended her, but were not happy to see her cave on her opinion.
You're the real hero here Martina. The truth is painful to some, but that doesn't mean it shouldn't be spoken. These bullies need to sit and reflect. Having a different opinion doesn't make someone "phobic". Let's discuss this rationally, not shame people into backing down.
— Jon Seidman (@sideybgood) December 22, 2018
These hot button topics will always start an online war.
You’re always better to not weigh in, rather than weigh in, then delete, then apologize.