The National Hockey League is facing backlash on social media after tweeting support for a transgender hockey tournament in Wisconsin.
The league shared pictures from the “Team Trans Draft” tournament comprised entirely of transgender and nonbinary players, prompting one follower to question, “So, men playing on a woman’s [sic] team?”
The NFL’s official Twitter account responded “Trans women are women. Trans men are men. Nonbinary identity is real.”
While the “Team Trans Draft” event, hosted by Team Trans Ice Hockey, self-described as “the first-ever ice hockey team made up entirely of transgender athletes,” is designed solely for transgender and nonbinary players, the exchange generated a heated debate about the role of transgender athletes in gender-specific sports.
The NHL is proud to support this past weekend’s Team Trans Draft Tournament in Middleton, Wisconsin. This was the first tournament comprised entirely of transgender and nonbinary players, with around 80 folks participating! #HockeyIsForEveryone #NHLPride pic.twitter.com/OfEoAVXtH5
— NHL (@NHL) November 22, 2022
So, men playing on womans team?
— Code (@BlueMountian12) November 22, 2022
Trans women are women. Trans men are men. Nonbinary identity is real.
— NHL (@NHL) November 22, 2022
A flurry of responses both in support of and against the NHL’s tweet immediately followed, with one person spiraling down the gender rabbit hole.
If trans women are women and trans men are men…
1) are women trans women?
2) are men trans men?
3) are men women, are women men?
4) if it’s a spectrum aren’t there really no women and no men, and therefore no trans women and no trans men?
— Elonmuskjr (@Elonmuskjuni) November 22, 2022
Others felt the NHL caved to “woke” liberalism.
Omg NHL…what an absolute embarrassment.
You’re just parroting a religious slogan.
Can you maybe define for us what “man” and “woman” mean?
If I claim to *feel* as black as Wayne Simmonds, does that make it so?
Shame on you, NHL for propagating this nonsense
— Chairperson Mao (@Calabi2875) November 22, 2022
Conservative politicians mocked the league for its attempt at courting the left.
“hold my beer….” https://t.co/3EAz3fkUdz
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) November 23, 2022
Others felt the NHL was on the right track with the 100 percent transgender event which removed the danger of biologically male athletes competing against women.
The NHL held a tournament for transgender and “non-binary” individuals. EXACTLY the way that ALL sporting events should be conducted. No “transgender” but biological males competing against females in ANY sport, just because they can’t win in a male versus male environment.
— Larry E Mace (@yankfanlarry194) November 23, 2022
Sex and gender are two different things. One is biology, the other is the social aspects of a person. I’m happy that the NHL understands and supports everyone who is transGENDER. They deserve kindness and recognition. Stop gatekeeping gender people ️️⚧️ https://t.co/2TspCnaPmZ
— Delilah Flowers (@D_Anne_Flowers) November 23, 2022
The issue of fairness was at the root of many comments, considering the advantage an athlete who is born male has over female competitors, as evidenced by the University of Pennsylvania’s Lia Thomas, who swam on the men’s team for three years before transitioning and joining the Quakers’ women’s team this season. She quickly began smashing Ivy League records, finishing a full two seconds ahead of her opponents with a time of 1:48:73 in the 200 freestyle while previously having mediocre performances against male athletes.
The NCAA reviewed its transgender policy and issued new guidance in January, changing to a sport-by-sport model similar to the U.S. and international Olympic committees.
I’ve said from the beginning, biological boys should not compete against biological girls…this Woke world we’re living in right now isn’t working.
— Caitlyn Jenner (@Caitlyn_Jenner) January 19, 2022
Gold Medalist Caitlyn Jenner is an outspoken critic of transgender female athletes competing in women’s sports. Transgender herself, Jenner says athletes born male have a biological advantage.
Jenner spoke with Fox News Tuesday, calling for a change to Washington state’s “woke” gender policies after a 15-year-old transgender athlete climbed to the top of the state’s cross-country rankings.
Born male but since transitioned to female, the sophomore finished in 72nd place in last year’s league finals while competing as a boy but broke her school’s 5,000-meter girl’s cross country category and ranks first in her league competing as a girl.
“We have to keep it fair,” Jenner said. “This issue is not going to go away, but I really feel the state of Washington has to make it a little bit tougher. [Transgender students] cannot just identify [as transgender] and then compete against the women.”
— Caitlyn Jenner (@Caitlyn_Jenner) November 21, 2022
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