Piers Morgan sparks debate over transgender MMA fighter's debut win
Piers branded the fight "sickening to watch"
Piers Morgan is facing heavy criticism after he took aim at transgender athlete Alana McLaughlin, who won the first MMA fight of her career this past weekend.
The 38-year-old spent six years serving in the US special forces before turning to MMA and underwent gender reassignment back in 2016. While many celebrated her successful fighting debut, Morgan's column in the Mail suggested that allowing fixtures like this to happen "creates a potentially deadly disparity."
McLaughlin posted to her Instagram following the bout, after uproar from some fight fans who believed that she had an 'unfair advantage'; she reiterated that opponent Celine Provost "almost finished me more than once, and on scorecards she definitely won that first round."
While the American fighter feels her opponent gave her a run for her money, Morgan commented that "the restrictive hormone treatment that sports authorities make transgender women do before they can compete in women’s sport does not reduce muscle density or power".
He was also quick to mention how he was "accused of being a transphobic scare-mongerer" but insisted that he is neither, adding that he has "always supported trans rights to fairness and equality."
Regardless, people on social media were divided on whether Piers' comments are transphobic.
It’s wrong. Trust your instinct and let go of trying to appear kind. This is what got us into this mess in the first place
— Ellen R💚🚺 (@MU_THUR6000) September 13, 2021
Have you heard of free will? Both of them chose to be there knowing who they would be fighting. Both of them were paid. The fight was not as one-sided as you say & boxing is full of uneven matchups, with knock outs in the first round. You create your own bandwagon to jump on!
— Stephen Benjamin (@Benj1963) September 13, 2021
Many have also been quick to point out a similar story that caused concern, in which fellow transgender fighter, Fallon Fox - who also served in the US military - was accused of breaking her opponent's skull back in 2014. This was also hotly debated.
Conversely, McLaughlin has continued to bat away negative comments, simply saying: "Transphobes are just making my block hand stronger."
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