Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley is calling on the WTA and ITF to support the inclusion of transgender players in women's tennis. In recent times, there has been a lot of debating whether transgender athletes should be allowed to participate in women's sporting events.
Tiley, who is also the CEO of Tennis Australia, revealed his organization is trying to influence the governing bodies of tennis to allow transgender athletes to participate in women's tennis events. "When it comes to professional tennis, we’ve got to be responsive to the international tennis federations, they set the guidelines and the policy on it.
But you know, as a sport, we’ve made our position pretty clear, and we are supportive [of transgender inclusion]. Tennis has had to grapple with the decisions on this for quite a while. We’re trying to influence the decision now.
We are an organisation that believes absolutely in inclusivity, in diversity, in equality, so any decision made will need to be aligned with our core values," Tiley told The Sydney Morning Herald, via Express-Sport.
Martina Navratilova calls out Australian Open boss Tiley
Navratilova, a former 18-time Grand Slam champion in singles, came out as gay in 1981.
Since then, Navratilova has been one of the most vocal activists for gay rights. But even tennis icon Navratilova is opposed to the inclusion of transgender athletes in women's tennis. "By including trans identified males in female category, biological females lose a spot.
It’s that simple. Seems to me Craig Tilley doesn’t understand that concept," Navratilova tweeted. Rachel Wong, the CEO of Women's Forum Australia, is also against the inclusion of transgender athletes in women's tennis.
"Serena Williams was another one, who again, has also said that men’s and women’s tennis are completely different. These women have a responsibility to their sports and to the female athletes that are going to come after them and who are not going to have the same fair playing field that they have managed to have themselves," Wong told Sky News.
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