Tennis LGBTI legend Martina Navratilova has tweeted, and then deleted, a rant about trans athletes.
The gay champion posted a tweet about transgender athletes that was picked up by the right-wing media.
‘You can’t just proclaim yourself a female and be able to compete against women,’ Navratilova said.
‘There must be some standards, and having a penis and competing as a woman would not fit that standard.’
The post was picked up by right-wing media who used it as evidence of why trans people should not participate in sport.
Martina Navratilova slammed for tweeting message about trans athletes
Renee Richards, a trans tennis player, and trans athlete Dr Rachel McKinnon criticized Navratilova online.
Navratilova said she was ‘learning in private’.
‘I also realize I fight too many fights and I do not have the time for them all while educating myself along the way.
‘So I have had enough for now…thank you. I meant no harm to anyone. That is for bloody sure.
She added: ”I am sorry if I said anything anywhere near transphobic – certainly I meant no harm – I will educate myself better on this issue but meantime I will be quiet about it. Thank you.’
But others continued to criticize the tennis star.
‘I don’t need a pat on the back nor do I need having my nose rubbed in crap after one idiotic tweet on my part,’ Navratilova continued.
‘So I will just sit this one out because apparently decades of fighting for equal rights for EVERYONE is wiped out by one idiotic tweet. So No Mas:). Over and out:)’
Cyd Zeigler, founder of OutSports, says Navratilova’s track record fighting for human rights is ‘stellar’.
‘I certainly believe Navratilova that she meant no harm,’ he said.
‘Her intentions were good.
‘Yet outcome doesn’t always meet intentions.
‘Certainly she did not mean to give fuel to anti-trans forces on the Right who aim to undermine decades of forward movement toward equality. And I don’t believe for a second she meant to upset or undermine trans athletes anywhere.’
He added: ‘It’s encouraging to see Navratilova say she will do some listening and learning to better understand the issue. That’s a great start, and the mark of someone who just wants to do the right thing.’