Gold Medallist Facing Backlash Over Laurel Hubbard Tweet

TEAM GB - James Guy
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Team Great Britain swimmer James Guy is facing backlash across social media following a “transphobic” tweet that questioned Laurel Hubbard’s inclusion in the Olympics.

25-year-old James Guy, who won two gold medals and a silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics, posted and pinned a Reuters story on his Twitter about Hubbard with the comment “How’s that fair, put me in the women’s 100 fly then.”

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The tweet which originally went relatively unnoticed soon got picked up following his Olympic success, leaving many people concerned and upset at his remarks about the Kiwi Athlete.

Highlighting that Hubbard qualified for the Olympics fairly, Dr Richard Budgett, medical and science director of the International Olympic Committee, explained that “Laurel Hubbard is a woman and is competing under the rules of her federation.”

The ACLU has also previously criticized the view that transgender athletes could have an unfair advantage over cisgender athletes, saying that trans athletes “vary in athletic ability just like cisgender athletes,” and added that any such exclusion of transgender woman across all sports “hurts all women”.

Speaking on the matter, Anne Liberman who is the director of policy and programmes at LGBTQ+ sports advocacy group Athlete Ally, argued that the concept of fairness is in fact a fallacy in sport.

“When we look at the elite level, we love sports because sports aren’t fair,” they said, noting that many cisgender athletes at the top-level possess physical predispositions that help them excel in sports, such as Michael Phelps and Brady Ellison.”

“I don’t think there’s ever been a moment whereas an athletic community, we have been weaker when we include more people,” Liberman added. “We’re always stronger as an athletic community when we include everybody because sports is equal opportunity.”

UK based LGBTQ+ media PinkNews has since gone to British Swimming in regards to the Tweet, however, declined to directly comment on Guy’s tweet.

British Swimming did add that it is an “open and inclusive organisation” and highlighted the “Pride in Water” network which was set up last year to support LGBTQ+ athletes.

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