John Steigerwald: Transgender athletes endanger women’s sports
It’s time to stand up to the stupidity.
Have you seen what’s happening to women’s sports?
Transgender women are threatening the existence of them, and if you have a problem with that, you will be told you are the problem.
Martina Navratilova, who came out as gay in 1981 when it took a lot more guts to do so, retired as, arguably, the greatest female tennis player.
She wrote an op-Ed for The Sunday Times of London saying to allow trans women to compete as women, “Is insane and it’s cheating … it is surely unfair on women who have to compete against people who biologically are still men.”
Lots of former female Olympic athletes agreed with her, but Navratilova is being widely condemned for being transphobic.
Recent girls high school track competition in Connecticut received significant attention, and the discussion about it has created controversy. Two biological males competing as transgender females — Terry Miller and Andraya Yearwood — are juniors who recently finished first and second in the girls 55-meter dash indoor state championship. They had done the same in outdoor events a few months ago. Connecticut law prevents any discrimination in athletic competition based on gender identity. At least one girl was prevented from going on to regional competition because she didn’t finish in the top five.
Regional competition is a showcase for those looking to get college scholarships.
Selina Soule, a junior who lost to Miller and Yearwood, said, “We all know the outcome of the race before it starts. It’s demoralizing. I fully support and am happy for these athletes for being true to themselves in school, but athletics have always had extra rules to keep the competition fair.”
She was being too nice.
Anyone who knows anything about sports knows it’s ridiculous to allow men to compete against female athletes. Just as everybody knows it would be ridiculous to have a high school with an enrollment of 300 in the same conference as a school with 1,500 students.
Miller and Yearwood are juniors, which means they will be racing against girls again next year.
Here’s what Soule and the rest of her female competitors in Connecticut should do:
Let the officials know if they see two trans women lined up on the starting line, the race will include only the two.
Let Miller and Yearwood find out who is the fastest high school transgender athlete in Connecticut. The parents should back them and pull their daughters out of any competition that includes biological males.
This insanity actually threatens the existence of girls/women’s sports. It will be coming to the Olympics. Biological males will be competing in weight lifting. How would you like to be a woman who has worked hard enough to qualify for the Olympics and find out you’ll be competing against a biological male whom you have zero chance of beating?
Fear of being labeled transphobic will prevent most of the gutless officials from high schools to college to the Olympics and maybe the WNBA from allowing common sense to stop the madness.
High school athletes and their parents are the only ones who have the power to stop it. They need to join together at all levels and form an organization dedicated to the preservation of women’s sports.
Their position should be, “If they compete, we don’t.”
High school girls shouldn’t be intimidated into believing they are bad people if they speak out. More importantly, their parents, who should know better, should not allow them to be intimidated into contributing to it.
John Steigerwald is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.