“♫ One of these things is not like the other ♫…”
First things first: This story has nothing to do with gender identity or the biological/ethical issues some have with transexuality, etc.
This is a story about athletic competition, and the inherent physical (not emotional/identity) differences between men and women. And in this story, “Gabbi,” a.k.a. “Big Sexy” is a man.
It was the debut of Gabrielle Ludwig, and at 6 feet 8, 220 pounds, with tattoos on her arms and legs, she stands out in the Contra Costa College gym. At 50, the Fremont resident is about three decades older than her Santa Clara community college teammates and opponents — and much taller….
Ludwig was the biggest player 5-foot-5 sophomore Siskiyous guard and captain Shyanna Ashworth had ever played against.
"She’s real physical. We knew what we were going to get," she said after the game. The team had its 6-foot-4 coach pretend to be Ludwig in practice to prepare.
OK, isn’t the fact that you have to bring your male coach onto the court to prepare to play Gabbi—also called “Giant” and “Big Sexy” by his teammates—a hint that maybe, just maybe, this doesn’t make sense?
The question isn’t “Can Ludwig identify as a woman?” It’s a free country. Ludwig can identify as a llama and nobody cares.
The question is “Does it make sense to have a person with a 6’ 8” male body playing women’s college basketball?” How is this fair to the women on other teams who can excel against other women competitors, but would have no chance against a guy.
When asked if it was fair for Ludwig to play, Ashworth smiled and paused for a few seconds.
"I’m not sure it’s the fairest thing. No judgment," Ashworth said.
And that’s the problem: Nobody’s exercising any judgment here. There’s no adult in the system to tell this overgrown, selfish child “Look, lady—this is a team for girls in college learning athleticism and leadership. It’s not a place for 50 year old guys to try to recapture their youth.”
Once again, I’m not saying Gabbi isn’t a woman psychologically or emotionally, etc. Sports is one of the arenas where physical differences truly matter. It’s stupid to pretend they don’t.
Yes, I know, I know—he’s 50 years old, so he won’t be able to keep up. Fine. But the next guy will be 40, then 30, then 20. Then…what? We’re going to have teams of physical men/identity women playing against biological women? How about, say, a transgender WNBA team? Would that be fair?
Or, more importantly (because life isn’t fair), would you want to watch female athletes play non-physically-women competitors?
One more thing: In California your sex for the purpose of college sports is determined by your birth certificate. So Gabbi could have tried out for the men’s college team. He didn’t. Instead he went to the trouble and expense to have his birth certificate changed.
Why? Answer that question, and you’ll see why this entire story is an embarrassment to sports.