WNBA player Brittney Griner sparked controversy recently when she expressed her support for transgender athletes’ participation in sports, calling it “a crime” to “separate someone for any reason.”
The Phoenix Mercury star made her first media appearance ahead of the 2023 WNBA season on Friday and her comments ignited a debate about transgender athletes in sports, with some arguing that it’s unfair for biological males to compete in women’s sports.
Brittney Griner says “it’s a crime” to ban trans people from competing with biological women in sports. pic.twitter.com/5GS99Qw1st
— No Jumper (@nojumper) April 28, 2023
Former NCAA star swimmer Riley Gaines disagreed with Griner’s comments.
On Sunday, she tweeted, “Which NBA team would have @brittneygriner since apparently the overwhelming, obvious differences between men and women should simply be overlooked? Heartbreaking to see athletically successful women take this demeaning stance. And if we’re going to talk about crimes, Brittney.”
Which NBA team would have @brittneygriner since apparently the overwhelming, obvious differences between men and women should simply be overlooked? Heartbreaking to see athletically successful women take this demeaning stance.
And if we’re going to talk about crimes, Brittney… https://t.co/cZpWYQShRI
— Riley Gaines (@Riley_Gaines_) April 30, 2023
Gaines is no stranger to the issue of transgender athletes in sports. In March 2021, she spoke out against biological male athletes competing in women’s sports after tying for fifth place with transgender swimmer Lia Thomas in the women’s 200-meter NCAA championship.
Gaines has been advocating for the future of women’s sports ever since. “This is not progressive,” she told The Post in a recent interview. “We are not moving forward. This is actually quite the opposite. We’re going back 50 years in time to before Title IX.”
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On Wednesday, the Kansas State High School Activities Association’s executive board voted that high schools and middle schools must see the first birth certificates of transgender athletes in order to decide which teams they can play on.
The Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act, which aims to prevent biological males from competing in girls’ and women’s sports, passed in the House last week.
“Today is a great day for America, for fairness, for families, and most importantly for female athletes,” House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said. “House Republicans pledged before the last election our commitment to America to women and girls in sports. Today, we kept that promise.”
However, President Joe Biden has said he will veto the bill if it reaches his desk.
The issue is a complex one, with valid arguments on both sides. However, it’s clear that the issue of transgender athletes in sports is not going away anytime soon.