“We don’t have bantamweights fighting heavyweights in boxing because that would be unfair. So to put males in female sport is unfair,” said Olympic medallist Sharron Davies.
Equality in top-level sport continues to generate controversy as not all parties agree that the trans community should be included. Specifically, some female athletes and retired athletes advocate that trans girls shouldn’t participate in professional events because it would be unfair, according to them.
In that sense, some disciplines, such as swimming in the US or cycling in the UK, have tried to integrate trans athletes, but the other athletes say they haven’t been listened to when they rejected these measures.
As a result, retired British swimmer and Olympic medallist Sharron Davies rejected the actions of a committee in Scotland that is considering whether people born as men will finally be allowed to participate as women after undergoing gender reassignment in this country.
“You have to put facts before feelings. You can’t feel you belong in the bantamweight division if you’re a heavyweight boxer,” Davies told LBC.
Davies has also criticized the fact that she wasn’t invited to speak at the Scottish Parliament committee, despite being a spokesperson for equality in British sport. “I think it’s a real shame. Female athletes have not been given any opportunity to have a voice whatsoever,” she said.
“Sport, by definition, is exclusionary, so we have fair sport across society. And if we didn’t have that, young fit, males would win everything. We must be listening and listening to the science and listening to the facts and in sport, which is so relative to a biological reality,” she added.
Taking the same stance as Davies, retired Olympic marathon runner Mara Yamauchi also said she was ignored by the committee when she tried to give her input. “They need to listen to female athletes, and they need to listen to people who care about women’s sport,” Yamauchi said.
According to the Daily Mail, this gender recognition bill would allow Scotland to reduce the time required for a trans person to assume their acquired gender. It would go from two years to three months and would also lower the minimum age to apply for a gender change from 18 to 16.
In her statements, Davies has been exhaustive in refusing to allow this law to pass. “If we enable males to be in female sports, you are excluding females from their own category of sport,” she said.