Martina Navratilova, the tennis legend, had a four-word reaction to a Democrat’s question at the hearing “Protecting Pride: Defending the Civil Rights of LGBTQ+ Americans”, asking if she believed males have a genetic advantage in sports over females.
John Kennedy, R.-La., asked Kelley Robinson a question. She describes herself as being the first Black queer president of the Human Rights Campaign. Robinson stated that she could not “definitely” state males are better at sports than women. Robinson tried to use an “article” that said some men believed they could beat Serena Williams at tennis.
Riley Gaines, who pointed out that Robinson had done so, noted that Williams, and her sister Venus, lost to “the 203rd ranked male tennis player,” more than a ten years ago.
Karsten Braasch, 50, challenged Serena Williams (then Venus Williams) and won back-to-back matches at the Australian Open in 1998 after the sisters said they could beat anyone male outside of the top 200 players.
Navratilova replied to the exchange via Twitter.
She wrote, “This is just sad.”
Navratilova was not present at the hearing but her presence could be felt. Gaines cited the tennis legend during her opening remarks at the hearing and thanked her “for being such a force.”
This is just sad. https://t.co/INUOwgU4Mc
— Martina Navratilova (@Martina) June 21, 2023
The nine-time Wimbledon winner has been an advocate for the gay community but has been against transgender women competing in sports against biological women.
She applauded World Athletics in March for adopting a new policy that excludes transgender women athletes from competitions. She called it “a step in the right direction.”
In an opinion piece in The Times of UK, she said: “I think that the best idea is to have biological girls and women categories as well as an open category. It would be an open category that would include men and women of all genders, including those who identify themselves as women. In Britain, this is being explored by the athletics and swimming teams.
“Biological females will most likely compete in the category of biological females since that is their best chance to win and maintains the principle of fairness. There are no question marks or provisos in an “open” category. This is a simple fix.
There is no way of erasing a male’s physical advantage once they have gone through puberty. It is not possible to turn the clock back, such as by lowering testosterone levels.
Navratilova expressed her hope that other sports would follow suit.