Female Athletes Angry Over The Request To “Lose Gracefully” To Trans Competitors

Source: Wallpaper

Trans rights are currently a hot button topic in America, and for an understandable reason. They’re controversial. Liberals are pushing for trans people to have expansive rights to do and say anything that they want, without fear of being called out, while conservatives are looking at some of the more niche issues of the problem. 

Two Major Trans Rights Issues

Two of the more famous topics regarding trans rights in recent years center around trans individuals using the bathroom that matches their identified gender, rather than their gender assigned at birth, and trans people in sports.

Source: Wikimedia/Anne Marie Champagne

The bathroom issue is currently being worked out in the court system, with opponents stating that allowing trans people to use their identified gender bathroom would result in significant opportunity for abuse. The sports issue is a little more challenging, though. 

Trans People in Sports

The issue of trans people in sports boils down to a few deceptively complicated talking points. Primarily, the issue addresses trans women playing sports. Opponents of the issue believe that trans women, having been assigned male at birth, have an unfair advantage over biological women due to greater levels of biological testosterone in their systems.

Source: Wikimedia/Ted Eytan

This belief, that trans women in sports would result in unfair cheating due to their biology, has led to some extreme laws and talking points. Various states have banned trans women from participating in sports altogether, and some states have gone even further, proposing measures such as genital checks for athletes ahead of allowing them to train for sports, to ensure that trans women are not signing up without disclosing their status. 

Trans Children Under Attack from these Bills

Where some of these bills and proposed measures take an unfortunate turn is when it comes to transgender children. Conservative measures have sought to prevent minors from being able to socially or physically transition before the age of 18, even with the permission of parents and doctors, but for now, there are still minors attending school who identify as trans. And some of those children play sports.

Source: Wikimedia/Ted Eytan

The number of children who identify as transgender in America is so unbelievably small that even Spencer Cox, the Republican governor of Utah, looked at a bill that banned transgender students from participating in sports and said that it was unnecessarily cruel and isolating.

Taking the Issue a Little Too Far

Cox vetoed that bill, though the state legislature of Utah ultimately were able to vote in numbers high enough to overturn the decision. The point stands, though, that even conservative governors in deeply religious states are looking at some of the talking points and decisions around transgender students and athletes, and thinking that it might be going a little too far. 

Source: Wikimedia/Maryland GovPics

This isn’t how some student athletes feel, though. Particularly after a recent statement that came From Fatima Goss Graves, who is currently the president and CEO of the women’s rights nonprofit, National Women’s Law Center. 

A Statement on Solidarity and Togetherness

Graves said, in a recent statement, “Trans students participate in sports for the same reasons as [other] kids. Because it is fun, because it creates belonging, community, because it teaches so much about persistence, leadership, and discipline, and last, they learn to lose gracefully – hopefully – and often, win with dignity.”

Source: Wikimedia/Frypie

The sentiment behind her statement was to bring together student athletes, to remind them of why they all play the sport. For teamwork and memories, to build friendships and interact with people who are different than them. However, that isn’t the message that many took away from what she said. 

A Former Swimmer Speaking Up

One former University of Kentucky swimmer, Riley Gaines, has been candid about her belief in the unfairness over allowing trans women to compete in women’s events. She believes that trans women are simply biological men masquerading as women, and that it’s unfair to allow them to compete on the same level.

Source: Wikimedia/Gage Skidmore

Gaines rejected the suggestion of “losing gracefully” to transgender athletes. She pointed out that, even when she tied with the transgender University of Pennsylvania swimmer, Lia Thomas, for fifth place during the 2022 NCAA finals, she lost to the four biological women who came in front of her. 

A Statement from Gaines

“Just for the record, I have lost gracefully many times in my career. Even speaking to the incident of Thomas and I, at the national championships, we tied for fifth – granted, fifth in the entire nation, so it’s still an incredible achievement,” Gaines said in a statement.

Source: Wikimedia/Gage Skidmore

“But there were four women who beat me. I’m incredibly proud of those women who beat me. So, I certainly can and have lost gracefully many times in my career,” she finished. 

Other Athletes Speaking

Gaines was not the only individual who was upset over Goss Graves’ statement. Mara Yamauchi, a former marathon runner and British Olympian, has also been outspoken about trans women competing in women’s sports, and had something to say regarding the comment.

Source: Wikimedia/SNappa2006

“Women and girls should ‘learn to lose gracefully’ to men and boys in their category. Women throwing away fair and safe sports for their fellow women is unforgivable.” Of course, this comment, while emotionally charged and understandably so, ignores the fact that trans women are obligated to follow the same rules that biological women do while playing sports, creating the same amount of harm as a biological woman would in their place.  

An Emotionally Charged Response

The statement also caught the attention of Martina Navratilova, a former professional tennis player. She responded with an emotionally charged statement, which only further highlighted the significant divide that there is on this issue.

Source: Wikimedia/Robbie Mendelson

“Unforgivable indeed. Lose gracefully my a**! Always did that when it was a fair fight!!! Nothing to be grateful about when the field is tilted so badly!!! Sex matters in sports; it matters. Shame on them.”

Republican Lawmakers Speaking

Female athletes were not the only people who the statement attracted. Some Republican lawmakers came out of the woodworks, ready to put their two cents in on the issue. 

Source: Wikimedia/Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs Office

During a hearing, Rep. James Comer (R-KY) applauded Gaines for her athletic accomplishments. Then, he called the suggestion a “slap in the face” to any athlete who worked so hard. “I don’t think you should lose gracefully. I think you should do exactly what you’ve been doing,” he said to Gaines. 

And From Ted Cruz

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz also responded to the statement on X, formerly known as Twitter. He wrote, “Outrageous. We should never have to teach our daughters how to ‘lose gracefully’ in sports to men dressed up like women.”

Source: Wikimedia/Gage Skidmore

Republicans see Goss Graves’ statement as a further example of how Democrats and liberals are seeking to “erase womanhood” and make it so that “women only spaces” no longer exist. In accepting transgender athletes, Democrats are looking to eradicate gender altogether, and make it so that there is no “real” way to be a woman. 

The Rhetoric is Working

Unfortunately, because of misinformation and fear mongering, this is rhetoric that is working with conservatives and moderates in America. Transgender individuals are the most vulnerable of the LGBTQ+ community, and rhetoric labeling them as predatory and delusional only makes this fact more prominent.

Source: Wikimedia/

Despite what many believe, liberals seeking inclusion of transgender individuals are not seeking to “erase” womanhood, or even make it acceptable for men to intrude on women’s spaces. Their goal is to accept those that look differently than them, and allow children to be children in whatever way that looks like, including if they decide they want to dress against gender norms or go by a different name. 

A Long Way to Go

The rhetoric around transgender athletes proves that the liberal movement has a long way to go in education. Much of the conversation around “biological males” and “biological females” is ignorant and entirely misses the point of how complicated sex and gender truly are.

Source: Wikimedia/Ted Eytan

Until more people are willing to expand their minds and consider perspectives other than their own, though, transgender people will be under fire. It might be over something as simple as using the bathroom, but with increasingly extreme bills being proposed and passed in legislatures across the country, it may come down to the legality of their existence in America, at all. 

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James Cross

Written by James Cross

James Cross, an enigmatic writer from the historic city of Boston. James' writing delves into mysteries, true crime, and the unexplained, crafting compelling narratives that keep readers and viewers on the edge of their seats. His viral articles, blog posts, and documentary-style videos explore real-life enigmas and unsolved cases, inviting audiences to join the quest for answers. James' ability to turn real mysteries into shareable content has made him a sensation in the world of storytelling.

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