Crowdfund QC slammed for celebrating transgender rugby

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By Legal Cheek on

Jolyon Maugham said article about transgender woman rugby player was example of how ‘the simple joy of sport can transcend fear and hate’

High profile barrister Jolyon Maugham QC, who has made a name for himself by crowdfunding a host of legal challenges, has sparked a huge Twitter row that raged over the Bank Holiday weekend — in a striking illustration of how social media can work against you as well as in your favour.

It began on Friday when he tweeted his praise for a BBC Sport piece about a transgender rugby player.

The story included the line:

“At nearly 6ft she stands out among her team-mates, and club captain Jessica Minty-Madley recounts a time she folded an opponent ‘like a deckchair’.”

Some big name female journalists rushed to condemn Maugham’s support for the story.

Rugby experts quickly joined in.

As did many, many other people over the course of the long hot weekend, including some who agreed with Maugham.

Maugham, a tax law specialist by training, issued a series of further tweets providing more context about his views.

He also posted a long thread detailing the support he had shown to women over the last 14 years.

Maugham told Legal Cheek this morning:

“No one should pretend the conditions under which transgender women are permitted to participate in women’s sport admits of easy answers. But it is one lawyers and sporting regulators around the world are addressing. I think it’s good to celebrate women, natal and trans, who are, in a very British way, just getting on with it. Let their playing fields be for the enjoyment of sport rather than the site of mutually destructive culture wars.”

It’s a busy time for the barrister, who is forcing a legal challenge that seeks to block Prime Minister Boris Johnson from forcing through a no-deal Brexit. A hearing on the matter is scheduled for next week.

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