British Olympic sprinter James Ellington has found himself under fire from social media users after making transphobic comments on Twitter.
The Commonwealth Games silver medalist is reported to have made the comments in response to news that transgender cyclist Rachel McKinnon defended her sprint title at the track cycling world championships.
“If I decide from now on I want to be recognised as a woman and break all the WOMENS British sprint records, is that fair,” Ellington Tweeted before adding, “Living in ridiculous times.”
If I decide from now on I want to be recognised as a woman and break all the WOMENS british sprint records, is that fair 🤷🏽♂️
Living in ridiculous times 😂.
— James Ellington (@Jellington100m) October 21, 2019
Following his comments, Ellington was soon shut down by many including Lynne Featherstone, a former MP who was a key in the legalisation of same-sex marriage in the United Kingdom, who simply replied, “That’s a ridiculous statement.”
Amanda Jette Knox, a gay mother of four, also criticised Ellington’s stance saying, “Yes! Go for it. You can deal with the massive changes to your body (once you can get access to medical care, which can take a long while), the discrimination, mockery, media attacks, loss of relationships, and if you’re lucky, some wins on the track. Report back ok? Good luck!”
In response to the mounting backlash, The 34-year-old sprinter soon fired back at his critics adding, “So far I’m a bigot, transphobic, disgusting, uneducated and ohh racist amongst few other things. That’s what you get for speaking up for women in sport.”
2019 year of the egg shells
— James Ellington (@Jellington100m) October 22, 2019
Current International Olympic Committee guidelines state that trans women must keep their testosterone levels below a certain amount to be eligible to compete in women’s categories. There are currently no equivalent restrictions for trans men competing in male competitions.