FACT CHECK: Did Venus Williams Refuse To Compete Against Transgender Athlete?
An image shared on social media purports tennis star Venus Williams refused to play against a transgender athlete.
The claim is inaccurate.
NCAA swimmer Riley Gaines has called on Venus and Serena Williams to take a stand on transgender athletes via Twitter, The Daily Mail reported. Gaines announced she will be lobbying famous female athletes to share their opinion on the introduction of transwomen in women’s sports leagues and started with Williams and her sister.
The Facebook post purports Williams refused to compete against a transgender woman. The post shows an alleged image of Venus Williams walking out of a tennis court to a standing ovation.
The text overlay reads, “VENUS WILLIAMS GETS A STANDING OVATION FOR REFUSING TO PLAY A TRANS WOMAN. ‘I’m not playing a guy.’”
This claim is inaccurate. There is no credible news report that Venus Williams refused to play against a trans athlete and got a standing ovation. The claim stems from a satirical news outlet called America’s Last Line of Defense. The news outlet self identifies as satire on their Facebook page. They share a disclaimer that reads, “Liberal Trolls Masquerading as Conservatives Since 2016. Nothing on this page is real.”
This is not the first time misinformation has been shared online. Check Your Fact debunked a claim that Steelers coach Mike Tomlin fired players for kneeling during the National Anthem.