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Navratilova brands British Ju Jitsu ‘jerks’ in row over transgender policy

Nine-time Wimbledon winner Martina Navratilova has called British Ju Jitsu “jerks” for allowing transgender competitors into the women’s category.

The British Ju Jitsu Association has now announced an “urgent review” of its trans inclusion policy after the tennis champ lambasted the rules. The Telegraph reports, Navratilova as called the decision to allow trans women into the female category “unconscionable”.

She was replying to a post on social media platform X that claimed “British Ju Jitsu Association has just updated its policy to continue allowing contact competition between males and females”.

Navratilova wrote: “This is dangerous – a totally unconscionable decision. Women should not compete at all. Boycott these jerk [sic] who make these decisions. Who are mostly males, I am sure.”

The Telegraph says an eight-page trans inclusion policy, which was dated September 2023, was said to be in-line with rules from the International Olympic Committee (IOC). It reportedly said transgender women who had transitioned after puberty must have testosterone below 10nmol/L for at least 12 months prior to competing.

The IOC however abandoned the policy in 2021. While two years ago the UK Sports Council concluded that the inclusion of trans women in sport could not balance fairness and safety in a single competitive model.

The British Ju Jitsu Association’s trans inclusion policy now appears to have been removed from their website. It also told The Telegraph that Navratilova’s comments were not about the council.

However, Navratilova was responding to a video of Brazilian Ju Jitsu and a link to rules from Britain.

The British Ju-Jitsu Association Governing Body[BJJA GB], said: “The comments made on X by Martina Navratilova are about a video which has nothing to do with the sport regulated by the British Ju-Jitsu Association Governing Body[BJJA GB], so we are unable to comment on the video or the social media post.

It continued: “The British Ju Jitsu Association governing body adopted a policy in an attempt to be inclusive and fair. That policy has never needed to be implemented at our national championships as we have not had a trans competitor seek to participate.

“However, we have now identified that the information that our policy was based on, has been superseded and as a result we are now conducting an urgent review of our trans inclusion policy so that it reflects the current thinking.

“The BJJA GB board of directors includes a female director for equality, diversity and inclusion, plus three other female directors, who are some of the highest ranking exponents of Japanese’s Ju-Jitsu in Europe. We are committed to ensuring that our policy is up to date and reflective of the current thinking.”

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