A petition which was launched against transgender competitors at the Olympics has been removed.
With over 30,000 signatures, the petition claimed that “women and girls are being sacrificed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as an easy fix for transgender demands for inclusion.”
The petition added, “Male-born athletes who identify as women are taking women’s places on sports teams, breaking women’s sporting records and insisting they must share changing and showering facilities with women.”
It went on to say, “This is unfair to women due to the incontrovertible physical advantage that transwomen have.”
This comes as New Zealand competitor Laurel Hubbard prepares to become the first openly transgender athlete to compete in a different gender category to which they were born.
The 43-year-old weightlifter, who will be competing in the women’s super heavyweight category, stated that the Olympic Games “are a global celebration of our hopes, our ideals and our values.”
Humbled by the kindness and support received by fellow New Zealanders, Hubbard said, “I commend the IOC for its commitment to making sport inclusive and accessible.”
According to the Daily Mail, the petition was removed and “flagged as hate speech”.
IOC advisor Joanna Harper addressed the controversy on Sky News by stating, “Yes, Laurel has advantages – but within this group of 14 women that she is competing against, Laurel is probably somewhere in the middle of the pack”, while adding, “She could theoretically finish anywhere from third to 14th – and isn’t that sort of the definition of fair competition that a lot of things could potentially happen?”.