This past Saturday, 17-year-old Mack Beggs polished off his undefeated wrestling season as he became the Texas state title holder for the women’s 110-pound weight division:
— Trinity Wrestling (@THSWrestling17) January 28, 2017
Beggs is a transgender male, who was born a female and began taking testosterone in 2015.
Some in attendance booed the teen as he clinched victory:
— Polo Sandoval (@PoloSandovalCNN) February 26, 2017
It wasn’t just those in attendance who felt it was wrong for Beggs to compete, but many on social media didn’t approve either:
put an asterisk next to it's name. Roided up like 90s baseball player. Unfair to the other girls and dangerous.
— The Face of Delhi (@TheMayorOfDelhi) February 27, 2017
they should make a tournament full of transsexual males and see if he can win the title, I doubt it.
— J.G. (@Scary_Hour) February 26, 2017
I mean based on science he did have an advantage
— Bo Vice ? ??? (@Popfellov) February 26, 2017
embarrassing. She should have been disqualified
— Ian Speed (@IanKQTX) February 26, 2017
According to reports, parents in the league had previously tried to get Beggs banned from competition, arguing that he was at an unfair advantage over the other competitors because he was taking testosterone:
To make things even more complicated, Beggs found his way into the state tournament after two leading female competitors forfeited, according to the New York Daily News.
Below is the parent of one of Beggs’ opponents explaining her daughter’s initial intent to “see it through” the final match:
Mother of Mack Beggs' opponent says she wanted her daughter to forfeit because of Beggs' steroid use. pic.twitter.com/q3JGk3o2xI
— Allison Harris (@AllisonFox4News) February 24, 2017
Some competitors filed lawsuits against Texas’s University Interscholastic League because they don’t believe Beggs should have been allowed to compete.
While Beggs may have dominated the women in his state, he did try and compete in the men’s league, being that he identifies as such:
— SportsDayHS (@SportsDayHS) February 26, 2017
However, the University Interscholastic League stated that student-athletes must compete as the gender listed on their birth certificate. It also states males and females are strictly prohibited from wrestling against one another.
After his win, Beggs was interviewed, and he said that he wished the attention had been on his team instead of on the negative reactions people had towards him competing:
Transgender wrestler Mack Beggs talks after winning Texas girls wrestling title pic.twitter.com/H6DFOMhqAm
— Kristie Rieken (@kristieAP) February 26, 2017
Despite the fact that many felt it was completely unfair for Beggs to participate, UIL deputy director Jamey Harrison said there was nothing unfair about Beggs’ win:
“Nothing that has happened at this year’s wrestling championships has the UIL reconsidering its rules because quite frankly we don’t believe that any issues being reported on are really a product of UIL rules.”
Do you think Beggs’ undefeated season was fair?