Ex-tennis star slams ‘failed male athletes’ for ruining women's sports

Martina Navratilova is widely considered one of the greatest players of all time

By Web Desk
February 13, 2024
Martina Navratilova (L) wasn't happy after transgender Maelle Jacques' (R) victory in the women's indoor track and field championship competition. — AFP/X

Martina Navratilova, one of tennis' legendary figures, recently voiced her opinion that women's sports should not be a sanctuary for male athletes who have not succeeded in their own fields.

Her remarks came in response to transgender high-jumper Maelle Jacques' victory at the New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association (NHIAA) indoor track and field championship.

On February 11th, Jacques clinched the top spot in the girls' high jump event, clearing 5 feet 1 3/4 inches at the Division II competition hosted at Plymouth State University in Plymouth, New Hampshire.

Jacques remained undefeated throughout the season, triumphing in all four regular meets she participated in.

Navratilova, known for her advocacy for women's rights, and sports equity, has been outspoken about transgender athletes' inclusion in women's sports. She argued that they hold an unfair advantage over biological women.

The 18-time Grand Slam champion reiterated her stance following Jacques' victory, asserting that women's sports should not be a platform for "unsuccessful male athletes." She called for rule changes to prevent transgender athletes from competing in women's sports.

"And I will keep saying this as nauseum until the rules change- women’s sports are not a place for failed male athletes," Navratilova posted on X, formerly Twitter.

Navratilova clarified that she supports transgender athletes but advocates for fair competition, suggesting that individuals transitioning from male to female should compete in the male category.

"We are not against trans athletes. We are for women athletes to compete on as level a playing field as possible, which means the males who now identify as women, should compete in a male category and women who identify as men but don't take testosterone can compete as women. Because there is still no advantage physically over other women athletes," Navratilova said On with Kara Swisher podcast.

Her views on transgender athletes participating in women's sports have drawn criticism, with some accusing her of being transphobic.

"I'm all for trans rights on a civil level, a hundred percent. And this is not against trans athletes. This is against male bodies competing as women if they identify as women. Many sports don't even have any mitigation, any allowance for lowering the testosterone level, et cetera," Martina Navratilova said.