Santino Marella, of WWE and Impact Wrestling fame, spoke about transgender athletes in the world of wrestling. In an interview for Behind the Lights show, Marella joined in the fray and echoed his fellow athletes who have not welcomed the idea of transgender sportspersons in the field.
According to Marella, "There's cases now in MMA and wrestling where there's trans girls that were born boys that are beating the s--t out of females and that's wrong. If you're a guy – born a guy – and you become a woman, you're accepted everywhere, but in the field of actual competitive sports, there has to be a barrier.
And the barrier is based on, you were born a God da-- man. You're accepted as a human being, and as a person, and you are loved in every single way, except it's not fair that you compete against women in sports because you were born with different physical biological attributes.
And we have to be realistic about it, and we also have to not be so sensitive." Most recently, tennis legend and LGBTQ crusader Martina Navratilova drew criticism when she said that transgender sportspersons competing in women's sports tantamounted to cheating, in a featured column in The Sunday Times.
For her statements, Navratilova was also removed from Athlete Ally, an advocacy group to protect the rights of the LGBTQ community. And although Navratilova later tendered an apology, the matter has continued to simmer. Meanwhile, other women athletes like Paula Radcliffe, Sharron Davis, and Dame Kelly Holmes have talked about their intention to write to the International Olympic Commission (IOC) to carry out further studies in order to ascertain if a transgender sportsperson could have a "residual benefit" of being so.