Tennis legend Martina Navratilova was forced to apologize for comments she made on social media saying that natural born men who ‘proclaim themselves female’ should not be allowed to compete against women.
Navratilova’s remarks came in response to a question from a Twitter follower who asked her about transgender women in sport.
“Clearly that can’t be right. You can’t just proclaim yourself a female and be able to compete against women,” the nine-time Wimbledon champion wrote. “There must be some standards, and having a penis and competing as a woman would not fit that standard.”
The 62-year-old who is widely regarded as one of the greatest tennis players of all time triggered an uproar on social media with transgender community branding her comments as “bullying” and “discriminatory.”
As soon as she posted her message angry responses and calls to apologize flooded Navratilova’s twitter account, forcing her to delete the initial post.
Canadian transgender cyclist Rachel McKinnon was among the most outspoken critics who said that the tennis legend should be “accountable for public transphobic comments” made against people of alternate birth gender.
Navratilova’s opinion on the topic came as a shock to many, as being an open lesbian herself the tennis star has always been a LGBT rights campaigner.
Following an avalanche of criticism the former tennis great apologized for her tweet promising to “educate herself on this issue.”
Some social media users however expressed support for Navratilova suggesting she was forced to deliver an apology after being “intimidated from telling the truth.”