The official Twitter account of the British media BBC recently posted a tweet, warning users that it will block and report people to authorities who took objection to biological men competing in female sports.
The official BBC Sports Twitter account said in a post: “At BBC Sport, we want our platforms to be a respectful place for discussion, constructive criticism, debate and opinion. We know the vast majority of our followers want that too. So here’s our stance.”
“We will block people bringing hate to our comments sections. We will report the most serious cases to the relevant authorities. We will work to make our accounts kind and respectful places. We will keep growing our coverage of all sports, and keep covering issues and discussions around equality in sport,” the message said.
BBC also sought help from other Twitter users in identifying what it claimed “expressions of hate based on race, colour, gender, nationality, ethnicity, disability, religion, sexuality, sex, age or class” and urged them to flag the URL to the post in question by emailing email@example.com.
“Together we will strive to make our social media accounts a safe space for everyone,” the message concluded.
BBC’s Sports Twitter account was at the receiving end of criticism online after it published an adulatory article on Laurel Hubbard, the first transgender woman, a biological male, to compete at the Olympics. In its article, besides showering praise on the athlete, the BBC also sought to make a case for allowing transgender to compete in various sports.
Following the criticism, the BBC posted the threat in reply to the initial tweet. While the BBC did not explicitly state what the threat was about, that it was posted below a tweet on Laurel Habbard makes reasons abundantly clear.
Laurel Hubbard’s participation at Olympics triggers debate about gender classification in sports
The article sparked a debate about gender classification in sport, with a legion of social media users terming it unjust on the part of women athletes to compete with Laurel Hubbard, the self-avowed female athlete who was born as a male.
One social media user said Hubbard was a cheat, who failed to qualify in men’s competition, and was now “shattering” records in female sports.
Cheat failed to even qualify as a man but identified himself as a woman and now shattering records.. ever wonder why no female to male athlete is good enough to make it but all of the male to female athletes smash records in women sports?— Zak (@NomadicZak) August 1, 2021
Another Twitter shared a GIF to claim Hubbard was a man, not a woman.
Yet another user quipped Hubbard will be the first man to compete against women.
Hubbard will make history as the first man to compete against women….CHEAT…..CHEAT…..CHEAT! pic.twitter.com/UmEUVFY53q— ChookyEmbra💜🤍💚 (@Drink_feck) August 2, 2021
A Twitter user said Hubbard made history by hacking Olympics weight classes. “As a male weightlifter in the 109kg+ class, you’re barred from competing w/ males in the 96-109kg and 81-96kg classes. To drop 2 weight classes, just ID as a woman and they’ll let you compete w/ 87kg females,” the user said.
Reminder that #Hubbard made #history by hacking Olympic weight classes. As a male weightlifter in the 109kg+ class, you’re barred from competing w/ males in the 96-109kg and 81-96kg classes. To drop 2 weight classes, just ID as a woman and they’ll let you compete w/ 87kg females.— Dan T. Copeland (@Self_Made_Dan) August 2, 2021
Several others too criticised BBC for rationalising the participation of a biological man in women’s sports.
“Reluctant”, lol. Mate, you don’t get to compete at the Olympics in a category you know you don’t belong to, at the age of 43, “reluctantly”. You choose to do so, against overwhelming opposition from fellow athletes. As for “history maker”, maybe. But for all the wrong reasons. https://t.co/ZnbRyOOKHk— Stacey Bowman (@StaceBoop) August 3, 2021
It’s am absolute disgrace.— Tiw (@ResurrectedTyr) August 2, 2021
So unfair for the female athletes having to compete against a man.
It’s a South Park episode made real. https://t.co/hLB9WGTsmW
Does the BBC hate Women ? Not unfair question to ask . https://t.co/ocrLv9dkAw— The NOT so Privileged Papi . (@papi_sierra) August 2, 2021
Laurel Hubbard becomes the first transgender woman to compete at an Olympics
Laurel Hubbard became the first openly transgender woman to compete at an Olympics on Monday. The weightlifter from New Zealand competed in the women’s 87kg-plus final but failed all three of her attempts in the “snatch”, ending her medal hopes.
Earlier in 2001, Hubbard was the national record holder and was lifting a total of 300kg in domestic men’s competitions. But, she abruptly quit her career at the age of 23 in 2001. For three decades of her life, Hubbard lived as a man before coming out as a transgender woman aged 33 in 2012, resuming her sports career.
Before the Tokyo Games commenced, a panel of scientists convened by the International Olympic Committee failed to agree on rules for when trans athletes were eligible to compete in female sports categories, leaving the organisations that govern individual sporting events to determine their own regulations.
Hubbard’s participation in Tokyo Olympics, however, was enabled by the IOC guidelines released in November 2015, which suggested that athletes who transitioned from male to female could compete in women’s categories without requiring surgery to remove their testes if their testosterone levels were kept below a certain level — 10 nanomoles per litre — for at least 12 months. The International Weightlifting Federation, the sport’s world governing body, abides by the IOC’s guidelines and based on this criterion, Hubbard qualified for competing in women’s sport at the Tokyo Olympics.