Tennis legend Martina Navratilova had a four-word reaction Wednesday after a Democrat testified at the hearing on «Protecting Pride: Defending the Civil Rights of LGBTQ+ Americans.» She was asked if she thought that men had a biological advantage over women in sports.
Kelley Robinson, who describes herself as the first black queer chair of the Human Rights Campaign, was asked by Sen. John Kennedy, R-Los Angeles. Robinson said she couldn’t say «definitively» that men have an advantage over women in sports. Robinson then tried to use a «news article» about how some men think they could beat Serena Williams in tennis.
As Robinson noted, Riley Gaines noted that Williams and her sister, Venus, lost to «losing to the 203rd-ranked male tennis player» more than a decade ago.
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Karsten Braasch, 50, challenged and beat Serena Williams and Venus Williams back-to-back at the 1998 Australian Open after the sisters claimed they could beat any player outside of the world’s top 200.
Navratilova responded to the exchange on Twitter.
«This is sad,» he wrote.
Navratilova did not appear at the hearing, but her presence was felt. Gaines quoted the tennis great during his opening statement at the hearing and thanked her for «being such a force.»
The nine-time Wimbledon champion has been an activist in the gay community, but has been against transgender women competing against biological women in sports.
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In March, she applauded World Athletics for adopting a policy to exclude transgender athletes from women’s competition. She called it a «step in the right direction.»
«Following the World Athletics announcement, I think the best idea would be to have ‘biological female’ and ‘biological girls’ categories and then an ‘open’ category,» she wrote in an opinion piece in The Times of UK. . «It would be a category for everyone: men who identify as men, women who identify as women, women who identify as men, men who identify as women, non-binary, it would be a mixed bag. This is already being explored in athletics and swimming in Great Britain.
«Biological women are more likely to compete in the biological women’s category as it is their best chance to win and upholds the principle of fairness. With an ‘open’ category there are no question marks, conditions, asterisks or doubts. It is a simple solution.
«Once someone has gone through male puberty, there’s no way to erase that physical advantage. You can’t just turn back the clock, for example, by trying to lower testosterone levels.»
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Navratilova said she hoped the decision would lead other sports to follow suit.
Fox News’ Elizabeth Troutman contributed to this report.