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Navratilova Slams Forbes Feature On Lia Thomas That Questions Gender Segregation in Sports: “The body is the whole effing issue!””

Former tennis champion Martina Navratilova has voiced criticism towards Forbes for its recent coverage of transgender swimmer Lia Thomas.

Navratilova, known for her strong stance on transgender athletes in women’s sports, dismissed an article published by Forbes titled ‘Transgender Swimmer Lia Thomas’ Body Is Not The Problem.’

Legal Challenge Against World Aquatics

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On 25 January 2024, The Telegraph reported that Lia Thomas, a transgender swimmer, initiated a legal challenge against World Aquatics, the governing body of world swimming.

Complaint To Overturn Ruling That Disallows Trans Athletes in Swimming

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Thomas filed a confidential complaint in September 2023, seeking to overturn a policy adopted in June 2022 that restricts transgender women’s participation in women’s swimming events.

Current Policy

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According to the policy, women who underwent gender transition before turning twelve years old are the only ones eligible to compete in women’s swimming events.

When Thomas came out as transgender in 2018, she was between the ages of 18 and 19.

Forbes Article Draws Criticism

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In a Forbes article published on 4 February 2024, the author appeared to question the necessity of gender-segregated sports in light of Thomas’ legal challenge.

The author also believes that the purpose of gender-segregated sports is to maintain male dominance.

Martina’s Statement

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Martina Navratilova, a vocal critic of transgender athletes in women’s sports, condemned the article on social media.

She wrote, “I have seen some really ignorant pieces before, but I do believe this one takes the cake. The body is the whole effing issue- not the outside but the inside! How one looks is totally irrelevant.”

Controversial Remarks by Lia Thomas

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Lia Thomas stirred controversy in April 2023 during an appearance on the podcast ‘Dear Schuyler,’ hosted by transgender swimmer Schuyler Bailar.

Thomas criticized feminists who did not support her participation in women-specific swimming events, drawing sharp criticism from Navratilova.

Martina Responded

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Navratilova responded to Thomas’ remarks on social media at the time with a scathing message: “NEWSFLASH Lia- it’s not fair.

We shouldn’t have to explain it to you over and over. Also- stop explaining feminism to feminists.”

Navratilova’s Persistent Critique

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Navratilova has been vocal about her concerns regarding Lia Thomas’ participation in women’s swimming events.

In March 2022, she urged the NCAA to revise its rules to address potential advantages transgender athletes may have.

Questions on Lia’s Achievements

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In an interview with NewsNation, Martina further expressed her opinions, saying that Thomas’s sporting accomplishments will never be fully accepted.

“Right now, the rules are what they are. Maybe put an asterisk there, if she (Lia Thomas) starts breaking records left and right and if Lia goes to the Olympics because she’s hitting her prime now physically,” she said.

Divided Opinions and Backlash

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While Navratilova’s critique of Lia Thomas has garnered support from some quarters, it has also faced backlash.

Her remarks on transgender athletes have ignited discussions about the complexities of inclusivity and fairness in competitive sports, particularly regarding transgender participation in gender-specific events.

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