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Female Athletes Unhappy After Being Are Being Asked to ‘Lose Gracefully’ to Trans Competitors

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Female athletes
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Fatima Goss Graves is currently the president and CEO of the women’s rights nonprofit National Women’s Law Center. However, not many women like her right now. 

It was not something she did but what she said. 

In her words: “Trans students participate in sports for the same reasons as [other] kids. Because it is fun, because it creates belonging, community, because it teaches so much about persistence, leadership and discipline, and last, they learn to lose gracefully – hopefully – and often, win with dignity.”

Female athletes did not care much about her suggestion. Many took to social media to air their opinions and were unhappy. 

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Former University of Kentucky swimmer Riley Gaines has been candid about the unfairness of allowing biological men to compete in women’s events. She rejected the suggestion, noting that, even when she tied with transgender University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas for fifth place during the 2022 NCAA finals, she gracefully lost to the four biological women before her.

“Just for the record, I have lost gracefully many times in my career. Even speaking to the incident of Thomas and I, at the national championships, we tied for fifth — granted, fifth in the entire nation, so it’s still an incredible achievement,” Gaines said. “But there were four women who beat me. I’m incredibly proud of those women who beat me. So, I certainly can and have lost gracefully many times in my career.”

Mara Yamauchi, a former marathon runner and British Olympian, has also been outspoken about transwomen competing in women’s sports. She wrote: “Women & girls should ‘learn to lose gracefully’ to men & boys in their category. Women throwing away fair & safe sports for their fellow women is unforgivable.”

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Goss Graves’ statement also caught the attention of Martina Navratilova, a former professional tennis player. She responded to Yamauchi’s post by writing: 

“Unforgivable indeed. Lose gracefully my a–! Always did that when it was a fair fight!!! Nothing to be graceful about when the field is tilted so badly!!! Sex matters in sports; it matters. Shame on them.”

Sharron Davies, an Olympic medalist and former competitive swimmer, re-posted a clip of Goss Graves’ statement and wrote on X: “If you’re a female athlete, watch this & get furious.

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You’re just supposed to learn to lose gracefully to a male in a race for females. If you don’t stand together & say NO, women’s sport will just be another race for males, along with men & non-binary!”

Aside from female athletes, the statement also drew the attention of some Republican lawmakers.

ALSO READ: The Debate on Transgender Athletes in Female Sports Rages on as Both Sides Stand Their Ground

During the hearing, Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., applauded Gaines for her athletic accomplishments. Then, he tagged the suggestion a “slap in the face” to “any athlete who worked so hard.”

“I don’t think you should lose gracefully. I think you should do exactly what you’ve been doing,” he said to Gaines.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz also responded to Goss Graves’ statement on X, writing, “Outrageous. We should never have to teach our daughters how to ‘lose gracefully’ in sports to men dressed up like women.”

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