Wendy Williams under fire for comments on transgender athletes

ABC's "The View" - Season 17

Transgender athlete Chloie Jonsson has been at the center of controversy since she decided to sue CrossFit for $2.5 million after they barred her from competing in the women’s division of the CrossFit Games, saying that it would be unfair for her to compete because she was born a man. Recently, Wendy Williams decided to cover the topic on her show and she and quickly landed herself in hot water over the transphobic comments made on the show.

During the panel discussion, which included Judge Lynn Toler of “Divorce Court” and Joe Pardavila of “The Todd Show,” Williams explained that she agreed with CrossFit’s decision to bar transgender athletes.

“This is an unfair advantage … you can take away female parts or male parts or whatever — it’s like Chaz Bono! You know Chaz is a man now, but I bet she [sic] still fights like a girl like the rest of us and she’s [sic] not as strong as a man who was born a man,” said Williams.

Although Toler provided legal reasons as to why Jonsson should be allowed to compete, Pardavila sided with Williams and gave his uneducated opinion on the matter.

“Think about it,” Pardavila said. “You look inside — she’s got all guy muscles, and the juices! You know, I’m not a doctor or anything but inside her that’s all there.”

However, the National Collegiate Athletic Association has previously given their educated thoughts on the matter and have claimed that there is no advantage for transgender athletes.

“It is also important to know that any strength and endurance advantages a transgender woman arguably may have as a result of her prior testosterone levels dissipate after about one year of estrogen or testosterone-suppression therapy. According to medical experts on this issue, the assumption that a transgender woman competing on a women’s team would have a competitive advantage outside the range of performance and competitive advantage or disadvantage that already exists among female athletes is not supported by evidence,” reads the handbook of the NCAA.

The controversial segment has since been removed from the Web and Pardavila recently apologized online for his statements.

“I’m an idiot. Please accept my sincere and humble apologies for my comments,” Pardavila wrote to one of his followers.

It’s clear that Williams, Pardavila and many others across the nation are still unaware and uneducated about what it means to be transgender, the stigma and oppression trans people face, and how transitioning involves a lot more than just surgically changing one’s genitals.

We hope that Williams and others that blindly followed her opinion will be more open to learning about the transgender community. Although something tells us that Williams will just choose to completely remain silent on the matter from now on. –nicholas robinson



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