Ultimate Fighting champion and actress Ronda Rousey told HuffPost Live on Wednesday that she "didn't refuse to fight a trans athlete," clarifying comments she made last year about professional mixed martial arts fighter Fallon Fox having an unfair advantage.
Rousey told host Ricky Camilleri that trans athletes should be evaluated on a "case-by-case basis," because according to the extensive research she's done, medical technology "isn't quite" developed to be able to reverse puberty development, like bone structure, after someone transitions.
"From what I've read, it seems like if you've already gone through puberty as a man, even if you really want to rid yourself of those physical advantages, I just don't think science is there yet," she said. The athlete also commented that it would be "totally fair" to fight a trans person who started transitioning before puberty.
Many medical professionals have debunked comments similar to Rousey's for not being based in science, including Dr. Pat Griffin and Helen J. Carroll who, in a 2010 study titled "On the Team: Equal Opportunity For Transgender Student Athletes," wrote:
"According to medical experts on this issue, the assumption that a transgender girl or woman competing on a women's team would have a competitive advantage outside the range of performance and competitive advantage or disadvantage that already exists among female athletes is not supported by evidence."
But, ultimately, Rousey would never turn down a fight. She explained:
If they said that, 'We really want you to fight this chick,' I will. I wouldn't, like, refuse and protest. But yeah, I think every single woman should be evaluated case-by-case basis by whatever athletic commission they are applying for a license in and they should bring in medical experts to give their opinion and the commissioner should make their decision.
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