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The tennis and golf worlds have collided after Andy Murray‘s mother, Judy, said it was “not fair at all” that trans athlete Hailey Davidson will be allowed to play in Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) events. Scotland native Davidson—who was born a biological male—has earned her card on the LPGA tour after she began hormone therapy in September 2015.
But Murray’s criticism of the move coaxed a response from Davidson’s own mother, Sandra, who insisted the former ‘knows absolutely nothing about transgender men or women.’ Davidson is currently competing at the Epson Tour Qualifying School (or Q-School) in Palm Springs, California.
“No. Not fair at all,” said Judy Murray on Twitter in response to a tweet concerning Davidson’s move onto the LPGA tour. “Protect women’s sport. Listen to the facts, the scientists and the medics. This is wrong.”
Although it’s been seven years since Davidson’s transition began, it was only in January 2021 that she underwent gender reassignment surgery. LPGA laws have permitted trans athletes since 2010, but said surgery is one of the prerequisites to participate.
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A post shared by Hailey Davidson (@haileydgolf)
“Shame on Judy Murray for attacking another mother’s child,” Davidson fired back in an interview with the Daily Record. “You do not know my daughter Hailey and most importantly you know absolutely nothing about transgender men or women and therefore have no rights whatsoever to give your opinion on something you know nothing about.
“Unless you are a parent of a transgender child I suggest you keep your opinions to yourself. This woman does not know what she is talking about and should stick to commenting on tennis.”
Trans participation in sport is a particularly controversial topic of late, with fields like rugby and swimming putting bans in place earlier this year. The International Tennis Federation (ITF) and Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) announced in June that a review of their policies was underway.
Sandra Davidson also said her daughter has received death threats since her name hit headlines, having become the ‘first openly transgender person to win a professional golf tournament’. However, Hailey said in 2021 that she hoped being accepted among her peers and the public would give “a lot more hope” to others like her aiming to play top-level sport.
Two-time Wimbledon-winner Murray suggested in 2020 that tennis legend Margaret Court should have her name removed from Melbourne Park in response to her views on transgender policies and same-sex marriage. The Scot said at the time that he didn’t feel Court’s values “are what tennis stands for.”
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