Patrick Christys: We need to talk about trans people in sport
'Women are either going to get seriously hurt or have their moments of sporting glory snatched away from them'
We need to have a chat about trans people in sport. I witnessed something I didn’t think I’d ever see, and something I never wanted to see – someone who was born a man beating up a woman before choking her out during a professional televised MMA fight.
The optics of that – a former US Special Forces fighter – punching a woman in the face before wrapping his arm around her neck and cutting off the blood supply to her brain until she had to tap out. It’s grim.
Alana McLaughlin is the transgender fighter’s name, they have been doing mixed martial arts for a year. Celine Provost, the woman who was battered on the canvas, has been fighting professionally for a decade.
She was much more skilled, but, clearly, just couldn’t deal with the overwhelming power of the trained killer who served in Afghanistan in 2007 as part of an elite, 12-man team – where, it must be said, they covered themselves in glory.
I have no issue whatsoever with people transitioning into a different gender. I genuinely wouldn’t mind if my child wanted to transition, as long as they weren’t rushing into it and that they were absolutely certain it was the right thing for them.
I would have an issue with my hypothetical daughter deciding she wanted to learn self-defence, becoming quite good at it and then ending up in a boxing ring with someone who was born a man who then broke every bone in her face.
And that’s my point – when female fighters go into the fight game, did they at any point think they’d end up fighting a former special forces war veteran who is built like a tank? No, they didn’t. Because it’s a new development.
So much is being made of women’s football at the moment, huge investment, huge advertising, huge profiling, the game has never been more popular among girls or played at a higher quality.
When your daughter decides she wants to play up front, and she’s great at it, and she slaves away and gets herself a trial at Manchester United and then I turn up, and I’m twice the size of her – bigger, stronger, quicker, I’m used to playing the male side of the game, and I score a hat-trick and then I get picked for the team…where’s the fairness there?
Where’s the feminism in all of this? Because it’s only going one way. It’s only really men becoming women and entering female sport…women threw themselves in front of horses to get the vote, I very much doubt their brighter vision for equality included men fighting women in a brutal blood sport for money.
Women are either going to get seriously hurt or have their moments of sporting glory snatched away from them by someone who spent the first 20 years of their life as an athletic man.
We’re staring down the barrel of seeing an Olympic podium in the women’s category of various events with three people stood on it who used to be men.
How long is it before the MMA World Champions, or boxing world champions, in the women’s side of the draw all happen to have been born men?
I’m all for equality, inclusivity and diversity, but I’m not for women being beaten, both metaphorically and physically, by people who were born male and I’ll make no excuses for that. There’s no feminism there, there’s no fairness there, for want of a better phrase, people need to grow a pair and stand up to this dangerous nonsense.