It seems that professional and amateur transphobes are always hunting for targets on the “war on wokeness,” or is it the “tussle with transgenderism”? Their ilk change brand so often that I forget.
In sports, the targets in the last year have included Ivy League swimming, Welsh cycling, snooker, and disc golf.
Now they’ve taken aim at Dylan Mulvaney. She’s that twenty-something, campy, goofy, likable-to-many, TikTok sensation who began her transition a year ago. Nike has signed her to be a brand ambassador to pitch sports bras and leggings.
True to the battle plan of the “anti-woke” media, Mulvaney has been painted as an “enemy,” misgendered and demeaned by the usual suspects.
No word on if someone has fired gunshots at boxes of Nike products they way Kid Rock squeezed off rounds at cases of Bud Light, who also partnered with Mulvaney.
BREAKING: Nike is now paying Transgender star Dylan Mulvaney as a brand ambassador. This follows her steady rise to fame, thanks in part to a lot of talent, a great personality and Conservatives not being able to stop talking about canceling anyone who works with her.— Brian Krassenstein (@krassenstein) April 5, 2023
The party… pic.twitter.com/woa8dSKVft
Two prominent voices critical of trans women in women’s sports got their licks in, too. Olympic decathlon champion-turned-Fox News contributor Caitlyn Jenner took a shot at her via Twitter.
“It is a shame to see such an iconic American company go so woke,” Jenner said of the Oregon-based athletics giant. “We can be inclusive but not at the expense of the mass majority of people, and have some decency while being inclusive.”
Not to be outdone is British Olympic silver-medalist and regular critic of trans athletes, Sharron Davies. She made an appearance on right-wing, anti-LGBTQ channel GB News and took to body shaming Mulvaney.
“When you have nothing to put in a sports bra, when it's important for women to have proper support when they do sports, it makes no sense,” she said.
Davies has been rather talkative about transgender women in sports. She also made pointed comments about certain cisgender women in sports like Caster Semenya a few years ago that some said were racist.
Some of Davies’ ire stems from a silver medal in the 400m individual medley at the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow. She lost to East Germany’s Petra Schneider, who later admitted she got a boost from the East Germany’s infamous doping program.
Davies has a legitimate argument about doping. However, she never speaks out about it unless she’s blaming transgender people. She has gone on record equating trans participation with doping, similar to what the East Germans did.
Both also pointed out Allyson Felix’s conflict with over a cut in pay as a Nike athlete five years ago to dig at a person who was in second grade when the seven-time Olympic champion was competing in her first Summer Games.
Look back at news items regarding Felix’s differences with Nike in 2018, and her departure from the Oregon-based athletics giant the next year. There were few, if any, comments from either Jenner or Davies when the situation was occurring then.
This smacks of how anti-trans voices belittle a champion cisgender woman in sports with missives — “In 2018 alone, 275 high schools boys ran faster times than Allyson Felix” — strictly to sell their transphobia.
This is just more of same anti-trans drivel growing more intense. Before this, it was people losing their minds about drag performers to the point where people are actually proposing laws against them.
Before the drag bans, there was the anti-trans bills. As those were happening there were those few players in NHL and MLB locker rooms bent out of shape they would be wearing a pride rainbow jersey on a Pride Night during warm-ups. There are also those fans who decried Pride Nights saying, “How about we have a Straight Night, huh?!”
I’d like to remind those people of the Alex Reimer Straight Night Doctrine: “Honey, that’s every night of the season. Have you seen all of those droopy cargo shorts in the grandstands?”
The anti-trans boycott brigade need a lesson in Social Media Capitalism 101. There are at least 12 million reasons why major brands like this social media starlet. Dylan Mulvaney has that many followers across Tik Tok and Instagram. Some of those people might put some money down what those brands are selling.
It isn’t like Mulvaney is the first non-athlete to push athletic wear, nor is she the first trans person to sell for the Swoosh. Nike centered a transgender athlete in an ad back in 2016. Remember that Chris Mosier guy?
Oops, I forgot something important. Transgender men don’t sell that anti-trans hysteria.
Unoriginal, basic anti-trans hysteria is what this is. It comes in the form of a boycott due to a one-off beer can made for Ms. Mulvaney only, or so-called “feminists” who try to sell transphobia in women’s sports, a Florida state representative saying that transgender people are “mutants, demons and imps”, or an Attorney General in Missouri who outlawed health care for every trans person in his state with a stroke of a pen.
Day 233- a message to Caitlyn. To my followers, please do not send her any hate. ❤️ #trans #daysofgirlhood #caitlynjenner♬ original sound - Dylan Mulvaney
Mulvaney has managed to stay above the fray and didn’t trade barbs with her adversaries. That doesn’t mean she couldn’t, because she has in the past.
When Jenner sniped at her over a TikTok video as part of her “365 Days of Girlhood” last October, Mulvaney responded with a graceful, classy slap across Jenner’s face with a rhetorical opera glove without needing to straighten her pearls.
This backlash isn’t new, but the level and intensity of anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and actions are heightened to 1970s-era levels it seems.
With Pride Month starting in less than two months, this flare up is another sign of how deep this could get, and it's a long way to the bottom.