One week from yesterday, former U.S. Special forces member Alana McLaughlin sent shockwaves through the MMA community after picking up her first professional win at Combate Global.
Unfortunately, the shockwaves were not a result of her performance. Rather, the reaction that fellow MMA fighters had following the realization that she was openly out as a trans athlete.
Transgenderism has become a hot topic in sports as entities grapple with how to either regulate or deregulate the participants. Recently, The International Olympic Committee ruled that transgender athletes can compete in the Olympics with no surgeries required. However, the sacred sporting event did implement rules depending on the circumstances of the transition. The ruling insists that female-to-male athletes can compete without restriction, but male-to-female athletes must undergo hormone therapy.
Following McLaughlin’s big win, former Strikeforce champ Jake Shields was taken back that any commission would allow this person to fight a woman.
“This is just insane that any fight show or commission would allow a trans person to fight a women” Jake Shields posted.
Despite the palpable criticisms, Alana McLaughlin won her debut in dramatic fashion. Initially, it seemed like she might be in trouble against newcomer Celine Provost, but momentum swung back in her favor. McLaughlin became the second openly trans person to win at an MMA event.
It appears Jake Shields isn’t the only fighter to take issue with McLaughlin’s recent activities either. UFC bantamweight Sean O’Malley is the latest fighter to emerge and air his grievances by implying that her physical stature alone is enough to raise red flags.
In accordance with the United States Anti Doping Agency, the UFC currently allows transgender athletes to perform under their company’s set of rules. Many of the stipulations in the 9-page release refer to therapeutic-use exemptions when readying transgender athletes for official competition.
Do you think transgender athletes have an unfair physical advantage in sports?