Australian Open’s Craig Tiley, CEO and director of the organisation, has spoken out about pushing to retain inclusive policies for trans tennis players.
Craig Tiley’s comments come amid a global push to rollback the inclusion of trans athletes in elite sports.
“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,” Craig told Sydney Morning Herald.
“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.”
Martina Navratilova continues anti-trans tirade
Martina Navratilova, openly gay, 18-time Grand Slam winner recently took to Twitter to express her concerns regarding Craig Tiley’s comments.
“By including trans identified males in female category, biological females lose a spot,” she wrote.
“It’s that simple. Seems to me Craig Tilley doesn’t understand that concept.”
The comments are the latest of Navratilova’s anti-trans tirade since speaking out in 2019 and calling the inclusion of trans women in tennis ‘cheating’:
“I am happy to address a transgender woman in whatever form she prefers, but I would not be happy to compete against her. It would not be fair.”
The statement also comes just months after Navratilova spoke out about championing the trans-exclusionary ‘The Lesbian Project’.
The legacy of Renee Richards
A spokesperson for Tennis Australia also doubled down on Craig Tiley’s affirmation of the sport’s inclusivity.
“As a global sport, policies for elite and pro players are determined by the international governing bodies. Equality and consistency across the sport is a priority,” the spokesperson said.
“We’ll always use our seat at the table to ensure all the necessary work – research, consultation and collaboration – is done.”
Tiley also went on to reflect about the historic legacy of Renee Richards, the first trans woman to pursue a legal battle in order to participate in the 1977 US Open.
Let’s hope that Renee’s efforts for trans inclusion continue to live on through organisastions like Tennis Australia.
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