Former world champion swimmer Danny Miatke says she is “outraged” by FINA’s controversial decision to virtually ban trans women from competing in elite races.
- Miatke says trans women are among the “most marginalized people in the world” and should be supported
- The gold medalist of the Commonwealth Games said that the impact of the decision will last for decades
- Reactions to the decision were mixed, with former Olympian Nicky Dryden also speaking out against the ban.
Miatke, who won gold in the 50m butterfly at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, said she rejected the idea that banning trans women from giving priority to “justice” over “participation”.
“This is not justice, because justice is exclusivity,” he told ABC Sport.
“We are talking not only about the people of Australia, but also about the most marginalized people in the world. We must do everything we can to promote and support them.”
Miatke, who is recognized as a member of the LGBTQI + community, said she was also disappointed that Dolphins captain Cate Campbell spoke out in public in favor of the ban.
“I understand the difficult position that Kate is in, as a media personality and as someone who was called to give information to FINA,” she said.
“But athletes are pillars of Australian communities in setting ethical standards for what we will accept.
Miatke, who now works as a pharmacist at a Melbourne-based hospital, added that only after retirement did she realize the crucial role that sport plays in shaping social norms.
“I will be honest, I did not have that perspective when I was an athlete,” said the 34-year-old.
“They teach you to be really selfish, because how else can you justify spending 60 hours in a pool a week?
“But I think if you are going to comment [on an issue like this]you need to educate yourself about the impact of these decisions beyond you as an individual. “
Miatke added that it is tired of using gender equality as an excuse to exclude trans and transgender people from sports.
“You can not say you are a feminist if you are transphobic, that is nonsense,” said Miatke.
“Feminism represents equality for all, not just cisgender women. When we talk about trans women, we talk about women.”
Groves, Dryden also speak out against the FINA ban
Miatke is not the only former swimmer to speak out against the ban in recent days, with Maddie Groves responding angrily to Cate Campbell’s claim that her stance on the FINA decision came from an “acceptance” position for people with different sex.
Groves made headlines last year when she pulled out of the Olympics, citing a culture of half-heartedness in Australian swimming.
He has also since spoken to ABC about alleged sexual abuse by someone working in the sport.
On Tuesday, he joined former Canadian Olympic swimmer Nikki Dryden, now a human rights lawyer, who told Radio National Patricia Carvela that she believed the ban was unconstitutional.
“It simply came to our notice then [ban] “It could stand up to human rights rules internationally,” Dryden told Karvelas.
Dryden added that it was problematic that FINA had not yet revealed who was the “taskforce” behind the bombing decision.
“We do not have to see any of the names from this supposed working group, either scientists or human rights advisers,” Dryden said.
“The reference to ‘science’ is really wrong, because when you read [the policy] they continue to compare men to women … but we are not talking about men versus women, we are talking about trans or intersex women and [cis] women. “
Dryden went on to claim that those who voted for the policy had less than 15 minutes to read it and make a final decision.
“FINA made this 40-minute presentation and made all these people talk, including Kate Campbell; they did not even have politics in front of them during this presentation,” he said.
“This is a 24-page policy that is extremely technical. The whole issue, even about how it was approved by the federations, will be challenged.”
Dryden went on to challenge the idea that sport should be “fair.”
“I was never trained to care about the person in the next lane and whether he was fighting fairly or not. We were trained to swim in our own lanes and do the best we could.
“This policing of all female bodies to really stop only one swimmer [in Lia Thomas] just do not get up when you start to look at it in more detail “.
At this point, Miatke said it agreed that the difference was a fundamental part of what made the competition stand out.
“Our real beauty as human beings, especially when you look at international sports, is the differences between us,” he said.
“If we were all cookie cutters, copying each other, that takes away all the excitement, motivation, inspiration and differentiation into what we do in any part of our lives, let alone the sports elite.”