Out transgender athletes have it particularly rough in the United Kingdom, where the tabloids and even the mainstream news media repeatedly put them under a harsh spotlight, and given ammunition to anti-trans activists.
But when one of London’s loudest voices on the far right took aim at a trans woman named 2019 Kent Women Player of the Year, the captain of her cricket team fired back, and scored the equivalent of six runs.
As KentLive reported, the 24-year-old athlete earned that honor by helping her team win their county one-day championship. But that wasn’t good enough for the U.K. anti-inclusion group, Fair Play for Women, or for Hopkins.
“Another kick in the ovaries for biological females everywhere,” Hopkins tweeted. “What is wrong with you @KentCricket Our daughters deserve better than this boll*cks.” In England, “bollocks” means testicles and is also an expression of annoyance.
“Women” Player of the Year.— Katie Hopkins (@KTHopkins) November 4, 2019
Another kick in the ovaries for biological females everywhere.
What is wrong with you @KentCricket Our daughters deserve better than this boll*cks pic.twitter.com/eiu1zXCPeJ
But what she tweeted annoyed someone else even more: Tammy Beaumont.
She’s the captain of Blythin’s team, and like Hopkins and the majority of people around the world, a cisgender woman. And the thread of tweets that formed her reply shot down the self-proclaimed “Angry Ellen DeGeneres,” “Female Farage” and “The Biggest Bitch in Britain.”
“Cricket is a sport for all and no one should be excluded because of who they are,” Beaumont wrote, knocking down the false reports that fueled discrimination against trans athletes like Blythin. Beaumont also made note of the rules by which Blythin competed, fair and square. And then, she closed with a personal endorsement, and a zinger.
“Personally I’m proud to call her my teammate and my friend. So please attempt don’t speak for me or my ovaries.”
1/3 Completely disagree. Cricket is a sport for all and no one should be excluded because of who they are. Using your platform to spread an ill-informed opinion and factually inaccurate article like this is will only add to the discrimination and abuse she’s already come across! https://t.co/JxXIbw4jpL— Tammy Beaumont (@Tammy_Beaumont) November 6, 2019
2/3 ECB have a clear policy on trans sportspeople. If you have an issue with that policy then that is up to you, but don't take it out on individuals. As far as I’m aware there’s no conclusive proof of any 'advantages' of being a trans woman in cricket.— Tammy Beaumont (@Tammy_Beaumont) November 6, 2019
3/3 Personally I’m proud to call her my teammate and my friend. So please attempt don’t speak for me or my ovaries.— Tammy Beaumont (@Tammy_Beaumont) November 6, 2019
Hopkins is no stranger to controversy, having dubbed herself “the new Jesus,” and has even captured the fancy of President Donald Trump. One year ago this month, she came under fire for mocking the Transgender Day of Remembrance — the annual commemoration by the trans community and its allies to mourn all those murdered because of their transgender identity.
On Nov. 20, 2018, Hopkins tweeted:
“Today is #TransDayOfRemembrance.
“Most people will be wearing red testicles. But I am wearing mine white as a symbol of cis-testicular peace.”
Hopkins is also infamous for having compared immigrants to cockroaches, and once called for a “final solution” for Muslims. She has more than a million followers on Twitter.
Beaumont was hit with a lot of criticism for supporting her transgender teammate, including from Sharron Davies, the British anti-transgender inclusion advocate who was a champion competitive swimmer. Beaumont replied to Davies that as far as cricket goes, Blythin clearly did not dominate the sport. However, she conceded there may be an advantage for trans athletes in other women’s sports.
Cricket is a skill-based sport. Her being trans doesn’t make her technique better. In our team we had girls who hit the ball further and harder, bowled quicker, more accurately and more skillfully. In other sports I don’t disagree there may be an advantage.— Tammy Beaumont (@Tammy_Beaumont) November 6, 2019