Booed and bloody, Mack Beggs dropped to his knees to celebrate. He was, after four wins and two days and all the rest, a state champion.
In a 12-2 victory against Chelsea Sanchez in the 110-pound classification, Beggs ended a highly controversial and dramatic weekend by becoming the first transgender participant to win a Class 6A girls’ state championship in Texas high school wrestling.
“I just witnessed my sport change,” a longtime Texas wrestling coach said moments after Beggs, a 17-year-old junior at Trinity High in Euless whose transition from girl to boy began two years ago and now includes testosterone injections, won a championship. The victory was seen as equal parts unavoidable — quick and noticeably strong, he entered the tournament unbeaten in 52 matches against girls — and contentious. The University Interscholastic League, which oversees sports in Texas public schools, ordered Beggs to continue competing in the girls’ division despite heavy uproar and a lawsuit earlier this month in a Travis County district court.
“She’s standing there holding her head high like she’s the winner,” said Patti Overstreet, a mother of a wrestler in the boys’ division. “She’s not winning. She’s cheating.”
Look, if she wants to go by Mack instead of Mackenzie, I don’t care. If you want to go along with using male pronouns to reference her, I don’t care. But don’t tell me that she didn’t cheat to win that state title. When using performance enhancing drugs in a competitive sporting event is against the rules, as it is in Texas high schools, and you use performance enhancing drugs, you are cheating. From a 14 year old track athlete:
Beggs was allowed to use a performance enhancing substance to help with the transgender transition, but none of the other wrestlers had access to testosterone. This makes it quite unfair, and frankly outrages me. Not only did she in all probability win (for she may have won anyway, but we’ll never know) due to an unfair advantage, but also the high schools seemed to have simply ignored the fact she was taking testosterone, and that it may give her an unfair boost.
They felt cheated. Cheated out of all the work the put in by someone who was allowed unfair advantage because they were transgender.
It seemed like it was only a matter of time before the transgender issue hit sports in a big way, such as this. There needs to be strict set of rules for transgenders in sports to prevent them from gaining unfair advantages at high school and college levels, as well as the middle school levels. A few rules are already in place like the birth certificate rule in Texas. But that only prevents transgender girls from competing with other girls and transgender boys from competing with other boys. Thankfully we at least have this rule, for without it sports would in a sense become coed.
On the other hand, to my knowledge, there are no rules preventing transgender athletes from doing what Mack Beggs did. She gained an unfair advantage because of her condition. All sports organizations need to reach universal rules on this issue to preserve the nature of sport as a real competition, not a drug-fueled gender fantasy.
From the failed attempt to stop this madness:
Beginning in approximately FaII of 2015, wrestlers and other athletes in the DFW area and throughout the state became aware of a female athlete (a female wrestler) from Euless-Trinity High School, who was posting photos and videos of herself concerning her use of and the changes resulting from her use of testosterone. Testosterone is classified as an anabolic steroid by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and United States AntiDoping Agenry (USADA) and is a Schedule III drug by the FDA and the State of Texas (H&S Code, Chapter 481). This athlete is still a minor and her identity is being protected in this Petition and she is being identified herein by her initials (M.B.). Evidence of this athlete’s testosterone use is widespread across social media over the last year (as evidenced by the online posts being submitted directly to the Court for in camera inspection). The online posts are replete with irrefutable evidence that this athlete is taking testosterone and is enjoying the benefits of its “changes” in her physical appearance and enhancements to her athletic performance. The Defendant has also acknowledged its actual knowledge of this athlete’s use of testosterone in writing (see materials being submitted to the Court).
The change in Mack Beggs’ body is very noticeable. See for yourself.
Those changes were over a 14 month period and the muscle growth has continued. Steroids are prohibited by the Texas University Interscholastic League as you can read in this document. Rather than enforce their own drug abuse policy, the Texas UIL blames it on the Texas Legislature:
According to UIL spokeswoman Kate Hector, the rules on steroids remain in place but the UIL’s enforcement is limited. Texas legislators cut funding on the UIL’s steroid testing program in 2015.
Beggs’ family claims that they want her to wrestle with the boys but the state will not let her. The Texas UIL says that Beggs never requested a change.
The University Interscholastic League, which oversees athletics in Texas public schools, enacted the birth certificate policy Aug. 1. And while Beggs’ family has said he wanted to compete against boys, UIL deputy director Jamey Harrison, who refused to address Beggs directly, said they had not received a request to change divisions from any athlete at this competition.
Of course, had they actually received such a request, they would have denied it. No one wants Beggs to get hurt anymore than they want her to hurt the girls she cheated against.
There are two easy solutions to this idiocy. One legislative and one for Beggs to do. The Texas legislature happens to be in session and can easily force the UIL to perform its duties and test athletes for unfair advantages like this. It will take a bit of work but not too much. And then we can go back to having competitive sporting events that aren’t tainted by cheaters.
The second solution is even easier. Beggs can continue to identify as a male and present herself as a male. No one cares. And she can continue her high school wrestling career in her senior year of high school. All she has to do is stop taking performance enhancing drugs. Let’s see if she can go 55-0 without using performance enhancing drugs.
In the meantime, the UIL should add an asterisk to her name in the record book and note that she was allowed to cheat by taking performance enhancing drugs. Or simply disqualify her after the fact and honor the hours of practice, sweat and blood that the non-cheaters had to put in to get to the top.
And before you go there, you know, calling me a bigot, etc., stop. This has nothing to do with gay rights and everything to do with sportsmanship and fairness in athletics.
See Also: When It’s OK For Men To Beat Up Women