Sportswear giant, Nike is facing backlash from female athletes after enlisting transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney for a sports bra advertisement.
The 26-year-old, who has a following of 1.8 million on Instagram, promoted the brand by wearing black leggings and a white sports bra in her post, tagging “Nike Women”. It is reported that Mulvaney could earn up to $150,000 per social media post.
Tennis legend and LGBTQ member Martina Navratilova quickly criticized the decision, calling it a “misogynistic move” and a “sad mockery of biological women”. Navratilova, known for her vocal stance on trans athletes in sports, tweeted, “I guess Nike couldn’t find a female athlete to sell sports bras…getting paid for it at the exclusion of females who actually need one.”
Navratilova’s views were echoed by other female athletes, with college swimming champion Riley Gaines accusing Nike of promoting a message that men can do everything better.
Olympic gold medalist swimmer Nancy Hogshead added that the paid partnership with Mulvaney had taken away opportunities from hard-working biological women, calling it a “male takeover”.
Despite Navratilova’s stance being criticized on Twitter, she pointed out a double standard in promoting female products, saying, “Sure. Next Dylan will be promoting tampons…”
The controversy has sparked debate about including trans athletes in sports and what limitations, if any, should be imposed to ensure fair competition.