Bob Costas: ‘It’s Common Sense’ to Oppose Trans Athletes in Women’s Sports

Bob Costas: ‘It’s Common Sense’ to Oppose Trans Athletes in Women’s Sports

Sports broadcasting legend Bob Costas has spoken out in opposition to transgender athletes playing in women’s sports, saying that it is “common sense” to oppose the idea.

Appearing on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher on Feb. 9, Costas said it “seems crazy” to allow a male-born trans boxer to box against natural-born women.

Costas pointed out that all the different pro sports governing bodies are separate entities, and each can make their own rules. But he then added, “So I understand that when it comes to Olympic boxing, that federation will allow trans women to compete against biological women, at birth biological women. That seems crazy.”

Costas went on to say, “It’s not transphobic to say ‘Let’s inject some common sense here.’ A lot of this is murky. We know that some people who use this as an issue actually are hostile towards trans people or people who, after carefully considered decisions at a certain point in life, decide that they’ll be happier and closer to their true selves. I think any sensitive person is aligned with that.’

Costas then got down to specifics to explain his position. “But Sugar Ray Leonard didn’t fight Mike Tyson,” he said before explaining why.

Bill Maher asks Bob Costas what is the best answer regarding trans competing in sports. Maher asks Costas a simple question: Should trans compete in a separate division?
Bob Costas: “I don’t think you want trans athletes competing against other trans athletes”
Caitlin Flanagan:…

— Eric Abbenante (@EricAbbenante) February 10, 2024

“They were contemporaries,” Costas continued. “Sugar Ray was a welterweight, Mike was a heavyweight, alright? If someday the best player in the WNBA can play in the NBA, everybody would applaud. But if the worst guy at the end of the bench on the worst team in the NBA went to the WNBA and averaged 40 points a game, everybody knows that’s bullshit.”

University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas smiles on the podium after winning the 200 yard freestyle during the 2022 Ivy League Women's Swimming...

University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas smiles on the podium after winning the 200-yard freestyle during the 2022 Ivy League Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships at Blodgett Pool on February 18, 2022, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. (Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)

Maher also welcomed writer for The Atlantic Caitlin Flanagan on the show, and she agreed with Costas that there are extreme differences between the male and female physique and it is unfair to let transgender athletes compete as women among natural-born women.

“Women’s and girls’ sports, they weren’t created as separate from men’s and boys’ because of some weird gendered thing like they have to wear pink, and they have to wear blue, they’re that way because of the profound [physical] sex differences between the sexes. That’s the reason,” she explained. “You don’t hear about any trans male athletes on a D1 basketball team… it’s the trans women who seem to be using a natural advantage that comes from sex-linked traits.”

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