Retired NFL star Brett Favre said it was "unfair" for transgender athletes to compete against biological women in Olympic weightlifting.
"It's not fair for a man, even if this person wants to be a woman or feels compelled — if you want to become the opposite sex, that's fine. I got no problem with it," the former Green Bay Packers quarterback said on his podcast, Bolling with Favre. "But you can't compete against — males cannot compete against females."
The International Olympic Committee changed its rules to allow transgender athletes to compete in divisions that do not reflect their biological sex in 2015. Those who transition from female to male can compete without restrictions, while biological males who transition to female must have a total testosterone level of fewer than 10 nanomoles per liter for at least 12 months before the Olympic games.
Favre's comments come after it was announced Laurel Hubbard, a 43-year-old New Zealand weightlifter, will compete in the women's heavyweight 87-kg category at the Tokyo Olympics. Hubbard transitioned to being a female in her 30s. The announcement of her inclusion in the Olympics was met with concern by veteran Olympians, who called it an "unfair advantage" and suggested it wasn't a level playing field.
Sharon Davies, who won a silver medal for swimming at the 1980 Moscow Olympics, said that biological differences between men and women give men an unfair advantage.
"If I was a true female — I can't believe I'm saying that — and I was competing in weightlifting and lost to this person, I would be beside myself," Favre said.
Before her gender transition, Hubbard was successful and held a junior record in the male 105-kg weightlifting class. Australian Weightlifting Federation Chief Executive Michael Keelan said the advantages Hubbard had extended beyond the physical and into the psychological.
"If you've been a male and you've lifted certain weights, and then you suddenly transition to a female, then psychologically, you know you've lifted those weights before," Keelan said in 2017. "I personally don't think it's a level playing field. That's my personal view, and I think it's shared by a lot of people in the sporting world."
Favre also slammed transgender BMX rider Chelsea Wolfe, who last year wrote that she wanted to win a medal at the Olympics so she could "burn a US flag on the podium."
Favre said Wolfe shouldn't be able to represent the United States at the XXXII Olympiad and should compete for "somebody else."
"To say that is such a slap in our country's face. I can't believe this person can be allowed to participate for our country."