Friday, February 22, 2019

Knowledge-Challenged Writer Opines About Sports, but Doesn't Want to Know Anything About Them

Sports are sports no matter who is playing. Therefore, in order to write about transgender sports you still have to have an understanding of athletics in general. So why are so many media outlets allowing people who clearly know nothing about the topic to spew misinformation and make flawed arguments?

Everything about this opinion piece on Out magazine's website slamming Martina Navratilova for her stance on transgender athletes was to be expected -- right down to the writer being thin-skinned and exhausting when someone who actually knows about tennis tried to point out a gaping hole in it:

Someone called Harron Walker wrote:
But [Navratilova's comments are] also ahistorical, conveniently omitting the time she beat an out trans woman on the court over 40 years ago. As Australia’s ABC News notes, Navratilova competed against Renée Richards in women’s doubles at the 1977 U.S. Open. Richards, an out trans woman who won the right to play professional women’s tennis after filing a discrimination lawsuit against the United States Tennis Association and the Women’s Tennis Association, lost to Navratilova, who later went on to hire Richards as her coach. Given Navratilova’s past support of trans women athletes like Richards, it’s disappointing that she would pivot to TERF bullshit in her retirement ..."
I'm sure anyone who knows even the most basic thing about tennis can see the flaw in this reasoning. Putting aside the fact that NO ONE ever said every trans athlete would win EVERY TIME they competed, there's this:

It didn't take long for the writer to not only refuse to acknowledge the laughable lapse in logic, [pronoun TK] pivoted to the time-honored tactic of saying "why are you still talking to me" -- never mind the fact that [pronoun TK] was repeatedly responding to my messages and has profiles on numerous, you know, "social" media accounts. 

I don’t know about you, but if one of the main points in something I’d written was an illogical example of what I was trying to say -- making me look like a fool -- I WOULD WANT someone to point it out to me. Clearly this was not the case here -- why learn something when you can be derisive?

I had written a similar post about an interaction I had with Dawn Ennis at Outsports but decided not to publish it. (As I've said, I'm actually fine with trans inclusion. I just don't think people who question fairness should immediately be labeled TRANSPHOBIC.) But now that virtually the same thing has happened again -- as it did before with trans cyclist Rachel McKinnon -- I figured I would put it here on my jump page for the hardcore tennis fans who have been writing to me to offer support.

*I reached out to Harron Walker for gender confirmation but he/she/they declined to provide an answer.

She Didn't Blind Me With Science

Fresh off insulting me on Twitter, Dawn Ennis of Outsports is back with a new piece on trans inclusion in sports. 

It's odd, because I thought she was dismissive of the opinions of "retired athletes who haven't participated in sports in years," yet she was "inspired" by Billie Jean King's tweet on the topic. (Hmm.) 

FYI: King last played a pro match in 1983 while Navratilova continued until 2006.

I read the piece and it's more mealy-mouthed "depends who you ask" information that raises more questions than it answers. ("So many arguments, so little consensus," Ennis writes.) 

The issue of trans athletes is barely a blip on the radar now, so it does seem odd to get so worked up about it. But Martina Navratilova's dedicated her life to sports, so maybe that's why she feels so passionately about the topic. And as a new generation of trans athletes enters the landscape, I think she is wise to not be so myopic about the topic. 

Still, I don't have much faith that a civil discussion can be conducted given that in addition to athletes such as Rachel McKinnon (referenced above) ...

even seemingly rational trans journalists seem to be losing the ability to act like adults, either. 

If you'd like to know what Martina and others are really talking about, click HERE.


I posted Pam Shriver's thoughtful comment about Martina and this is what ensued ...

And it didn't end there ...

I wonder why we can't have a mature discussion about transgender athletes?