Martina Navratilova tells Daniel Radcliffe to ‘be quiet’ on trans issues

Composite image of actor Daniel Radcliffe and tennis star Martina Navratilova

Lesbian tennis legend Martina Navratilova has told Harry Potter star and trans ally Daniel Radcliffe to “be quiet” on transgender issues, after an old statement from the actor, in which he defended trans women, resurfaced online.

In 2020, shortly after JK Rowling published her infamous ‘TERF wars’ essay sharing her “concerns” about the trans community, Harry Potter actor Radcliffe joined with LGBTQ+ charity The Trevor Project to stand up for trans women.

“Transgender women are women,” he said in a statement at the time. “Any statement to the contrary erases the identity and dignity of transgender people and goes against all advice given by professional healthcare associations who have far more expertise on this subject matter than either Jo [Rowling] or I.”

Radcliffe doubled down on his comments two years later, telling Indiewire he had “met so many queer and trans kids and young people who had a huge amount of identification with Potter.”

He added: “Seeing them hurt… I wanted them to know that not everybody in the franchise felt that way. That was really important.”

When Radcliffe’s quote resurfaced on Twitter on Monday (2 October), Navratilova, who won 167 singles tournaments, including nine Wimbledon and four US Open titles, during her career, wrote: “Just be quiet, Daniel. Be quiet.”

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Navratilova came out as bisexual during an interview with New York Daily News in 1981, adding that she was in a relationship with feminist writer Rita Mae Brown. She asked the newspaper not to publish the interview until she came out publically, but they did anyway. Navratilova later came out as a lesbian.

Born in Prague, she retired in 2006 and now works in tennis as a coach, representative and spokesperson.

Her views on trans women competing in elite sports have often been criticised.

In 2019, she claimed that trans women competing in women’s sport was a form of “cheating”, prompting football star Megan Rapinoe to respond that it is “frustrating when women’s sport is weaponised” by anti-trans views.

Navratilova added that she deplored “what seems to be a growing tendency among transgender activists to denounce anyone who argues against them and to label them transphobes.”