Equality in Sports Revisited

What does it mean when those who claim to be marginalized by society want equality? On the surface this seems like a fair proposition. Yet upon a deeper examination, equality is a commodity that hard to accomplish outside of the courtroom, where everyone is, ideally, equal before the law. Once again, it seems fair but the modern-day application of equality comes well short of being fair. The question that needs to be asked, yet seldom is, is fair to whom?

  Dodge ball has taken a hit to the crotch (yes, pun intended) inside school gymnasiums of late. Some Canadian researchers have come to the conclusion that dodge ball is a “tool of oppression” that can be used to dehumanize children and manifests inequality when teams are picked by the superior athletic kids, creating unbalanced teams. This research sounds like it was written by those who weren’t very athletic and are taken their opportunity to lash out at being chosen as one of the last for a team. The Wall Street Journal’s Jeff Yang once said that dodgeball “is a systematized opportunity for bullies” to target the weak. This same accusation could be leveled against baseball when, usually in youth baseball, the weakest are relegated to right field and can be a target for good hitters going after the weakest link in the field of play. A little closer to the truth, dodge ball is about winning and should teach kids how to compete, regardless of size or athletic ability. Canadian journalist Joseph Brean, paraphrasing David Burns, said,

  “The moral problem with Dodge Ball is that it encourages students to aggressively single others out for dominance, and to enjoy that exclusion and dominance in victory.”

   This veiled cry for equality can be applied to just about every endeavor in life, from business and academics to all other sports. Does Microsoft have a moral problem when they put out a superior Windows program that dominates the market allowing it (Microsoft) to enjoy the exclusion of that victory. When smarter kids dominate in academia and bask in the glow of their superior grades, do they not enjoy “exclusion and dominance” in that form of victory. Turn to sports and the comparisons are close to endless.

  Transgender athletes, mostly male to female, are claiming inequality just when someone vocally opposes their participation against biological females in sports, let alone when rules are established that prohibit such unfair competition. Unfair to whom? The biological females. CeCe Telfer of Franklin Pierce University is a college hurdler born male but now competing as a female who recently won an NCAA women’s national championship, taking the 400-meter hurdles by more than a second. According to the battle cry against inequality in dodge ball stated above, doesn’t Tefler enjoy the “exclusion and dominance” in the victory over biological females? Tefler was interviewed by ESPN’s Outside the Lines and said:

  “(I)f anything, me competing against cisgender females is a disadvantage… My body is going through so many medical implications … It’s going through biochemistry changes. So, being on hormone replacement therapy [results in] muscle depletion … your muscles are deteriorating. You lose a lot of strength because testosterone is where you get your strength, your agility. So, I have to work twice as hard to keep that strength, and if I slack a day, that’s like three days set behind. So … I have to keep up all my workouts … I can’t drink … I can’t eat unhealthy, or else it’s gonna impact me harder.”

  Literally everything Tefler said can be applied to any training athlete who slacks for any period of time. Returning to consistent peak performance will require even more hard work. Besides, transitioning from men’s hurdles competition, with the higher hurdles, to women’s hurdles, with its lower hurdles, would alone give Tefler an advantage without even considering physiological aspects like bone structure, muscle density, etc.

  Finally, and thankfully there is some legal pushback against those like Tefler and other transgendered athletes from competing against biological girls.

  According to CBS News:

     Three Connecticut girls who have run high school track have filed a federal discrimination complaint saying a statewide policy on transgender athletes has cost them top finishes in races and possibly college scholarships.

    “Girls deserve to compete on a level playing field,” said Christiana Holcomb, legal counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom. “Women fought long and hard to earn the equal athletic opportunities that Title IX provides. Allowing boys to compete in girls’ sports reverses nearly 50 years of advances for women under this law. We shouldn’t force these young women to be spectators in their own sports.”

    The complaint filed Monday with the U.S. Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights was submitted by the conservative Christian law firm Alliance Defending Freedom on behalf of the girls, who are asking for an investigation of the policy and orders that would make competitions fair. The complaint also cites the federal Title IX rules aimed at equal rights in sports for female athletes.

   One can only hope that that ideal of equality before the law actually exists.

   Another example of transgender (male to female) exploitation of non-transgendered biological competitors happened when Mary Gregory, a transgendered weightlifter, competing under the RAW Powerlifting Federation, was stripped of all titles after winning nine out of nine competitions, which included setting a new Masters world squat record, open world bench record, Masters world deadlift record and Masters world total record.

  In this writers opinion, the RAW Powerlifting Federation was correct to take away the titles because, according to Paul Bossi, the federations president:

  “It was revealed that this female lifter was actually a male in the process of becoming a Transgender female…Our rules, and the basis of separating genders for competition, are based on physiological classification rather than identification.

  On the basis of all information presented to the Board of Directors for this particular case, the conclusion made, is that the correct physiological classification is male.”

 Transgendered exploitation of biological females stopped in its tracks.

In a free society, outside of the context of equality before the law, equality is virtually impossible, including the US Women’s Soccer demand for equal pay with the men. Someone will be a better soccer player than another. You can be a better writer than me, while I can be a better athlete than you. There’s only one place in the real world that one can visit to get the equality they are looking for. At any graveyard where everyone is equally dead.

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