Matt Barnes doesn’t think trans women should be allowed to play in the WNBA.
“I don’t like that,” Barnes told Vlad TV when asked about the topic. “I think to each his own. You want to be whatever you want to be. But to me, whatever your born, you should play in this room. You see the swimmer (Lia Thomas) and all that stuff. Again, I’m pro make-your-choice. Do it, do it. But sport is a different animal. I think you saw a trans fighter too. I do not like it.”
The swimmer Barnes was referring to is Thomas, who swam as a man at the University of Pennsylvania before switching to a woman, where she broke school records and eventually won a national championship.
Barnes continued to respect individuals’ freedom regarding gender identification, but drew a line when it came to sports.
“Anyone who was born a woman should do women’s sports. If you were born a man, you should play men’s sports,” he said. “But if that’s what you want to be, you want to do anything with your life, I respect that, but I just think sport is a little bit different.”
Barnes was asked to envision a high profile player like Kevin Durant in the WNBA.
“It would change the whole dynamic of the game,” he said. “For me I want to each their own and I respect any personal choice that you want to make, but when it comes to sport I just think it’s a line that shouldn’t be crossed.”
Barnes, 42, played in the NBA from 2004 to 2017 and won an NBA championship with the Warriors in 2016-17.
He currently hosts the All the Smoke podcast with fellow NBA champion Stephen Jackson.
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