At a martial arts tournament in Georgia, the competition mats remained empty as several participants chose to abstain from competing due to unfulfilled promises of not having to face transgender women in the competition. Czech tennis legend Martina Navratilova expresses her support for the women.
On October 21, a women’s martial arts tournament was held in the city of Georgia in the USA. However, several women withdrew from the tournament at the last minute when it was revealed that they would be forced to compete against transgender women.
During the summer, videos circulated showing transgender women entering matches against women in martial arts, where the women’s disadvantage was clearly visible. The women have testified about how previous matches against transgender women made them feel scared and insecure afterward, something they also spoke out about openly. This in turn led the North American Grappling Association (NAGA), which organizes the tournaments, to change its stance on the participation of transgender women in competitions. According to the new policy, women would not be forced to fight in matches against transgender women, reports the Daily Mail.
However, this new policy from NAGA was broken on October 21, when a women’s martial arts tournament was held in the city of Georgia in the USA. The competing women chose to withdraw at the last moment upon learning that they would be forced to compete against transgender women.
“Women’s opportunities to compete fairly”
Tennis player Martina Navratilova commented on the incident on X, formerly Twitter, where she shared an article about the women who had withdrawn with the sarcastic caption “So not just a couple of athletes here and there?”
So not just a couple of athletes here and there? https://t.co/BWQRGly3YG
— Martina Navratilova (@Martina) October 27, 2023
Navratilova has previously spoken on the subject, where she believes that men who identify as women should either compete in the men’s class, or that separate events should be created, such as the LGBTQ event Gay Games as an example.
“The female category was created to provide opportunities for women to compete fairly. It was always intended to exclude males. We need to keep excluding them”, she wrote according to the news site Sportskeeda.
Following the statements, the tennis star reports that she has been accused of being “transphobic”.
Two transgender women won gold medals at the martial arts tournament in Georgia. One of them was Corissa Griffith, who won four gold medals.
Czech-American Martina Navrátilová is widely regarded as one of the greatest women's tennis players of all time. She was ranked number one in the world from 1978-1979 and 1982-1987, a total of 332 weeks, and won 18 Grand Slam tournaments.