This past week has seen Donald Trump Jr take a keen interest in transgender athletes and by his judgement the 'grave injustice' it is causing to female sports.
The president's son and co-head of the Trump organisation first weighed in on the debate on Tuesday when shared a link from the far-right website The Daily Caller which denounced Cece Telfer, a trans sprinter who currently leads the NCAA's Division II women's division.
Trump Jr called the trans track stars success a 'grave injustice to so many young women who trained their entire lives to achieve excellence.' The sentence followed with the caveat 'identify however you want, to each his own, but this is too far and unfair to so many.'
Yet another grave injustice to so many young women who trained their entire lives to achieve excellence. Identify h… https://t.co/IKU6P5MZ6X
The day before Trump Jr had quote retweeted a post from the libertarian commentator Dave Rubin about two trans athletes, Terry Miller and Andraya Yearwood, finishing first and second at an indoor track championship event hosted by the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference.
Rubin sarcastically said "congrats to the intersectional feminists' with Trump Jr adding that he "felt sorry for the young ladies who trained their whole lives" and once again called it a "grave injustice."
I feel so sorry for the young ladies who trained their whole lives to be the best in their state and to hopefully a… https://t.co/lv6ByIygVA
Trump Jr's protest against trans athletes comes amidst a widespread debate about the inclusion of trans women competing against biological women.
Trump supporters and transphobes have mostly agreed with the 41-year-old but this shouldn't be surprising. Since coming into power the Trump administration has taken a strong stance against trans people by trying to either erase trans and nonbinary identities or issue orders to ban transgender troops from serving in the US military.
Experts on the subject, such as medical physicist Joanna Harper, have argued that indentity doesn't matter when it comes to sport but that hormone levels would have an effect. She is quoted by Metro Weekly as saying:
The gender identity doesn’t matter, it’s the testosterone levels. Trans girls should have the right to compete in sports.
But cisgender girls should have the right to compete and succeed, too. How do you balance that? That’s the question.
Harper does add that in certain sports, like long distance running it has been discovered that women can compete on an equal footing with trans women.
In response to the criticism that was directed at the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference, the organisations executive director Glenn Lungarini defended their policy.
This is about someone’s right to compete. I don’t think this is that different from other classes of people, who, in the not too distant past, were not allowed to compete.
I think it’s going to take education and understanding to get to that point on this issue.