UFC stars weigh in on trans row as Israel Adesanya aims dig at swimmer Lia Thomas with South Park meme – while Jorge Masvidal calls for a ‘fair’ sport he can encourage his daughter to participate in
- Israel Adesanya has aimed a dig at Lia Thomas amid the ongoing trans row
- Thomas, 22, transitioned in 2019 and won the US title in the women’s swimming
- Adesanya posted a video clip from South Park as he weighed in on the subject
- UFC star Jorge Masvidal also asked if there were any ‘fair’ sports for his daughter
There was huge controversy over the weekend when the American swimmer Lia Thomas, who transitioned in 2019, won the US national college title in the women’s 500-yard freestyle.
That victory has sparked an outcry from Thomas’s rivals and escalated the conversation around the future risks to the female category in sport, with World Athletics president Sebastian Coe concerned that women’s sport is in a ‘very fragile’ place.
Israel Adesanya has aimed a dig at Lia Thomas amid the row surrounding trans stars in sport
The UFC middleweight champion shared a South Park meme as he weighed in on the debate
Now, UFC stars Adesanya and Jorge Masvidal have weighed in on the row, with the middleweight king posting a video clip from animated series South Park showing a heavily muscled and bearded athlete beating competition in a female category to the top prize.
Below the clip is an image of Thomas in first place following her win last weekend, in a clear dig at the 22-year-old.
‘Life imitates art sometimes.’ the 31-year-old tweeted alongside the post.
Meanwhile, Masvidal – a father of three children – also shared his thoughts on the saga, taking to Twitter to ask which sports remain ‘fair’ for girls.
UFC fan-favourite Jorge Masvidal also made a comment on the subject that has split opinion
He asked his Twitter followers if there were any ‘fair’ sports his daughter could compete in
‘What sport is left that is still biological girls vs biological girls? Want to put my daughter in a sport that is still fair to her,’ he tweeted.
Lord Coe has acknowledged that discussions need to be had over the integration of trans athletes in women’s sport, insisting ‘gender cannot trump biology’.
He said: ‘It is inevitable that as in any element of science you will go on understanding and learning, but there is no question to me that testosterone is the key determinant in performance.
‘Look at the nature of 12 or 13-year-old girls. I remember my daughters would regularly outrun male counterparts in their class but as soon as puberty kicks in that gap opens and it remains. Gender cannot trump biology.’
He added: ‘I think that the integrity of women’s sport if we don’t get this right, and actually the future of women’s sport, is very fragile.’