Is sport ever really fair? Consider the comments made by Michael Phelps regarding Lia Thomas. While he was delicate in the way he talked about a level playing field the reality is that Phelps had a huge advantage over his career in the men’s field which included a larger arm span, double-jointed ankles and bigger than average lung capacity which led to 28 medals (23 of them gold). My point is that these advantages already happen naturally within men’s and women’s sports and introducing trans athletes who despite suppressing testosterone to normal female levels, are often attacked by transphobes who just want them gone altogether from society.
I don’t have an unusually strong opinion on athletics, and I understand people who have put so much effort into their sport only to witness a perceived unfair advantage. My issue is more with using sport as way of encouraging discrimination in other areas. This problem didn’t come up when I was growing up because very few trans people were out and we were just mostly curiosities for the tabloids (the notable case being Renee Richards in the 1970’s). Given our increased presence in society and since so much weight is being placed on measuring physical prowess, that scrutiny should perhaps be extended to the entire spectrum of athletes some of whom have natural biological advantages beyond just their training methods.