Australia's most decorated Olympic swimmer, Emma McKeon, has spoken out about transgender women taking part in the sport.
McKeon, 27, became the latest female athlete to broach the topic as she spoke at Queensland’s Griffith University’s A Better Future For All seminar ahead of her appearance later this year at the Commonwealth Games.
The five-time gold medallist has expressed belief transgender women should be included in the sport and acknowledged swimming organisations would have to 'think about how to handle' the matter, but admitted she herself 'personally wouldn’t want to be racing against someone who is biologically a male', adding: “So that’s a concern."
“It’s not a new thing, but it’s new in that sport, swimming, are going to have to deal with it," she continued, reports InQueensland.
After securing an incredible seven medals during the Tokyo Olympics, McKeon was granted a 'wild card' nomination into the Commonwealth Games, giving her an opportunity to swim at the event without contesting the upcoming Selection Trials.
The swimmer has expressed belief she won't 'have to race against a trans swimmer', saying "I don’t think it’s going to come to that point" but adding: "Now that it’s a growing thing, the sport has to think about how to handle it and how to deal with it, because you do want to be inclusive, but you don’t want to have females racing against swimmers who are biologically male because it’s just not fair.”
McKeon's comments come as the debate about including transgender people in sport continues in the lead up to Australia's Federal Election on 21 May, with NSW Liberal candidate Katherine Deves facing backlash for campaigning against the inclusion of trans people in sport.
Deves has received backing from Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who told reporters today (20 April) that 'women in sport is the issue that Katherine has been highlighting'.
"She's made many, many remarks in the past, and on a number of occasions, certainly not the majority, she's stepped over the line and she's acknowledged that. Because to go forward as a member of Parliament, that is something you need to learn - that these issues are important, that you need to be able to deal with them with respect for others, to be compassionate in terms of the feelings of others.
"But what I won't allow... is for those who are seeking to cancel Katherine simply because she has a different view to them on the issue of women and girls in sport," he said.
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence contact Mindline Trans+ on 0300 330 5468. The line is open 8pm–midnight Mondays and Fridays and is run by trans volunteers.
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