‘Make this stop’: Ben Fordham fires up over transgender athlete Laurel Hubbard accolade, sportswoman of the year
Radio presenter Ben Fordham has slammed the decision to name transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard sportswoman of the year.
Australian radio presenter Ben Fordham has claimed the inclusion of transgender athletes in professional sporting events is “making life harder for women”, targeting the “woke brigade” in a passionate rant.
Last week, Olympic weightlifter Laurel Hubbard was named sportswoman of year by New Zealand’s University of Otago, the first transgender winner of the award’s 113-year history.
The university, which is based in Dunedin on the South Island, gave Hubbard the honour at the Blues Awards after she became the first transgender athlete to compete in an individual event at the Olympic Games.
The 43-year-old took part in the 87+ kg weightlifting event in Tokyo, but failed to record a successful snatch lift.
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Speaking on his 2GB breakfast program, Fordham slammed the university’s decision to honour Hubbard, claiming it was “hurting the progress that we’re making in women’s sport”.
“They think they’re being inclusive, but they’re making life harder for women,” he said on Tuesday morning.
“Please, make this stop. When the sportswoman of the year is born a man, political correctness has gone a mile too far.
“If we keep on listening to the woke brigade there won’t be a need for women’s sport.
“It comes down to biology, men are usually – not always – stronger than women.”
In a statement made to the Otago Daily Times after receiving the award, Hubbard said she was “grateful for all of the support and kindness received from the teaching staff and students at Otago University’’.
‘It is not possible for athletes to complete at the Olympic level without the encouragement and aroha of friends, family and supporters,” she added.
‘‘This award belongs to everyone who has been part of my Olympic journey.’’
Hubbard had previously competed for New Zealand as a 20-year-old junior male athlete.
The weightlifter then transitioned nine years ago and returned to the sport after 16 years away in 2017 where she went on to win two silver medals at the world championships in the 90kg class.
She then qualified for the Olympics after the International Olympic Committee changed their rules to allow women to compete if their testosterone levels were below a required threshold.
“I see the Olympic Games as a global celebration of our hopes, ideals and values and I would like to thank the IOC for its commitment to making sport inclusive and accessible,” she said in a statement ahead of the Tokyo Games.
Hubbard’s participation at this year’s Games sparked massive debate. Some, like sports writer Ewan Mackenna, believed it was a “massive slap to the face of all women and fair sport, and an indictment of the Olympics and New Zealand sport”.
Former Olympian Caitlyn Jenner said it was “not fair” and tennis legend Martina Navratilova thought the same.
– with The Sun