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Caitlyn Jenner backtracks previous position, says trans girls shouldn't play women's sports

Jenner made comments over the weekend that she says accurately reflect her position on the controversial topic of transgender athletes in sports.
/ Source: TODAY

Running to be governor of California, Caitlyn Jenner is doubling down on comments she made over the weekend about how transgender women should not be able to compete in women’s sports. The new remarks from the former Olympic champion backtrack from her previous position on the topic that suggested she believed the opposite.

The former reality star, 71, retweeted an article from TMZ on Saturday where she told the outlet that she is against "biological boys who are trans competing in girls' sports in school” after being asked about legislation that would stop transgender girls and women from being able to play on women’s sports teams.

“I didn’t expect to get asked this on my Saturday morning coffee run, but I’m clear about where I stand,” Jenner tweeted along with a link to the article. “It’s an issue of fairness and we need to protect girls’ sports in our schools.”

In the video captured by TMZ, Jenner had a similar sentiment to her tweet, adding, “It just isn’t fair. And we have to protect girls’ sports in our schools. This a question of fairness.”

In a campaign email to donors obtained by TODAY, Jenner confirmed her comments, writing: "I was one of the greatest athletes in the world, but had I competed in the female decathlon in the 1976 Summer Olympics, I would have blown my opponents out of the water. Bottom line: it would NOT have been fair to the other female athletes from all around the world to compete against me."

Jenner ended her email asking for donations in her bid to "SAVE California, and ultimately, America."

TODAY has reached out to Jenner for further comment and we will update this article if she gets back to us.

Jenner's remarks come at a time where bills at least 20 states are targeting the transgender community. This includes Mississippi, whose governor signed “the Mississippi Fairness Act” into law which requires the state’s schools to designate teams by sex assigned at birth, therefore prohibiting transgender student athletes from participating in school sports according to their gender identity. Gov. Asa Hutchinson from Arkansas also signed a bill in March that banned trans student athletes from competing on teams that align with their gender identity, becoming the second state this year to do so.

The 2015 ESPYS - Roaming Show
Caitlyn Jenner accepts the Arthur Ashe Courage Award during the 2015 ESPYS on July 15, 2015.Kevin Mazur / WireImage

Following Jenner’s bid for governor of California and comments made over the weekend, social media users have pointed out that her comments this weekend do not match her previous opinions on the topic.

Jenner, who came out as transgender in 2015, previously showed support for transgender athletes and how everyone should have the opportunity to compete "as who they really are."

In 2015, Jenner received the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPY Awards, highlighting issues that affected the transgender community in her speech. During her acceptance speech, she took a moment to focus on transgender athletes, her views contradictory to her statements this weekend.

“I also want to acknowledge all the young trans athletes who are out there — given the chance to play sports as who they really are,” she said. “And now, as of this week, it appears that trans people will soon be serving in the military. That’s a great idea. We have come a long way. But we have a lot of work to do.”

As recently as April 2020, Jenner echoed her sentiments from five years previously, showing her support for transgender athletes to be able to compete in sports during an appearance on “The Trans Sporter Room” podcast from Outsports.

In unpublished audio from the interview obtained by TODAY, when Jenner is asked about her current stance on politics by journalist Dawn Ennis, Jenner refuses to answer. Instead, she offers a clear response on trans athletes instead.

"I think every trans person, if they're into athletics, should have an opportunity to compete and to improve themselves,” she said during the interview. ”I think sports is such a great way to learn a lot about yourself. And yeah, I want to, hopefully they'll have the opportunity in the future to do whatever they can do. I'm all for it.

"I'm all for it.”