Vice Sports writer Parker Marie Molloy recently published an article titled 'Heroes, Martyrs, and Myths: The Battle for the Rights of Transgender Athletes'. Among the situations discussed was MMA fighter Fallon Fox, and in it, Molloy blasts a 'washed up stand up comedian' in Joe Rogan for his comments about Fox having unfair advantages.
More on Fallon Fox
Fallon Fox: Joe Rogan owes me an apology
Fallon Fox explains the impact that comments from Joe Rogan have had on her career and life in an exclusive Bloody Elbow editorial.
More on Fallon Fox
Here's a snippet from the said article:
During a 2013 episode of his podcast, comedian and MMA commentator Joe Rogan railed against recently-out trans athlete Fallon Fox, weaving back and forth between ignorance and bigotry.
"She wants to be able to fight women in MMA; I say no fucking way," Rogan began his rant against Fox. "I say if you had a dick at one point in time, you also have all the bone structure that comes with having a dick. You have bigger hands, you have bigger shoulder joints. You're a fucking man. That's a man, OK? You can't have... that's... I don't care if you don't have a dick any more."
Rogan's attacks on the 5'7", 144 lb. fighter continued, remaining divorced from anything even remotely resembling science, taking on the form of flat-out personal attacks and pseudo-science:
"Fight guys, yes. She has to fight guys. First of all, she's not really a she. She's a transgender, post-op person. The operation doesn't shave down your bone density. It doesn't change. You look at a man's hands and you look at a women's hands and they're built different. They're just thicker, they're stronger, your wrists are thicker, your elbows are thicker, your joints are thicker. Just the mechanical function of punching, a man can do it much harder than a woman can, period."
Rogan's assertions about bone density, being "built different," and so on have no basis in science. As Dr. Vilain and other medical professionals have stated, hormone replacement therapy has a way of adjusting bone density, muscle mass, and eroding other advantages trans athletes may have. Sadly, the world seems far more interested to hear what a washed up stand-up comedian has to say than actual medical professionals, or sports governing bodies like the IOC and NCAA that have studied these issues.
Rogan has since responded to the article:
The article linked was from our own Steph Daniels interviewing Dr. Ramona Krutzik, M.D., F.A.C.E., a leading, board certified endocrinologist who have explained possible advantages that a transgender athlete such as Fallon Fox may have over her opponents in Mixed Martial Arts. If you haven't read the piece, Dr. Krutzik gives her expert opinion on factors such as bone density, muscle mass, and imprinting that may give Fox an advantage as she has developed as a man.
Rogan followed up with a series of tweets on the topic:
I'm 100% in favor of transgender people, but to pretend that a male frame and a female frame are the same is insane. If a woman knows (2)— Joe Rogan (@joerogan) November 9, 2014
shouldn't have to disclose that you used to be a man before you fight women because it's a "private medical history issue" is what I find (4— Joe Rogan (@joerogan) November 9, 2014
most offensive about the fighter in question. She fought women without letting them know she used to be a man, and I'm 100% against that. 5— Joe Rogan (@joerogan) November 9, 2014
combat sports are unique in terms of trans athletes because the goal is to damage your opponent and the male frame is advantageous for it (6— Joe Rogan (@joerogan) November 9, 2014