British rapper breaks women's dead-lift record after 'identifying as female' in debate over transgender athletes
Rapper and Oxford graduate Zuby caused a firestorm on Twitter after posting a demonstrating why male athletes should not compete alongside women. The Southampton-born man waded into the polarizing debate after he posted a few videos of himself at the gym "destroying" female weight-lifting records. He claimed that he "identified as a woman" while lifting the weights.
The stunt was his response to the controversy surrounding biologically male athletes being able to take part in female competitions. The 32-year-old rapper claimed that he broke the women's dead-lift record of 238kg "without even trying".
I keep hearing about how biological men don't have any physical strength advantage over women in 2019...— ZUBY: (@ZubyMusic) February 26, 2019
So watch me DESTROY the British Women's deadlift record without trying.
P.S. I identified as a woman whilst lifting the weight. Don't be a bigot. 😂 pic.twitter.com/dYRraHCB42
He wrote along with a laughing face emoji: "I keep hearing about how biological men don't have any physical strength advantage over women in 2019... So watch me DESTROY the British Women's deadlift record without trying. P.S. I identified as a woman whilst lifting the weight. Don't be a bigot."
The tweet then exploded on Twitter and has gained almost 1 million views because of the ongoing debate as to the participation of transgender athletes in sports.
Female tennis legend Martina Navratilova, who has been a campaigner for LGBTQ rights for a long time now, also claims that male athletes who "self-identify" as a female just to compete mustn't be allowed to do so. Navratilova has had her own share of controversies since she came out as a lesbian in 1981.
The 62-year-old nine-time Wimbledon champion said that she will gladly address transgender athletes by whatever pronoun they like but wouldn't be happy to compete against them unless they fully transition.
Zuby, who calls himself a "recreational lifter", told The Times that his video has "struck a nerve". He said: "It was done in a humorous way, but it made it more real: it showed the fallacies of the arguments on the other side. I have seen people saying there is no inherent biological strength difference between men and women. I posted it being a bit tongue-in-cheek, showing what I think is the obvious absurdity of their argument."
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As a follow-up to the initial tweet in which he took-on the dead-lift record, he decided to take on two more records. He said: "I'll take the squat and bench press records too while I'm at it... May as well. To fight bigotry."
The rapper was commended across the social media site and has said that "98%" of the feedback to his video has been positive.