In recent weeks, the internet has been abuzz with news about Lia Thomas, the University of Pennsylvania swimmer who, until this season, competed on the men’s team prior to transitioning from male to female.
Opinions regarding the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) allowing the athlete to compete on the women’s team despite being a biological male have varied tremendously, with some supporting the NCAA’s inclusive choice and others, including Caitlyn Jenner — who herself identifies as trans — speaking out against the NCAA’s ruling.
After Thomas became the first trans athlete to win a college championship, USA Today reported on Jenner’s stance:
Caitlyn Jenner teed off on Penn swimmer Lia Thomas, who became the first transgender athlete in any sport to win a NCAA Division I championship last week.
The former Olympic decathlete, 72, said Thomas isn’t the “rightful winner” of the NCAA 500-yard women’s freestyle swimming championship following a similar proclamation from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who declared runner-up Emma Weyant the winner.
Now, actress Natasha Ward, who stars in Disney-owned ABC’s Station 19, has spoken out against biological male athletes competing in women’s sports. While some are calling for Ward to be “canceled” amid the controversy, others support her sharing her thoughts on the matter.
ripx4nutmeg shared screenshots of Ward’s posts, which included statements like “We need to have this conversation. Supporting #transfreedom [trans freedom] does not mean it’s ok to violate the rights of biological women.” The Twitter user wrote:
Natasha Ward, an actress on Disney-ABC show Station 19, and a former athlete, has posted “We need to have this conversation” about males in women’s sports. It resulted in online abuse and calls for her to be sacked, so other actors and producers on the show have … condemned her
Natasha Ward, an actress on Disney-ABC show Station 19, and a former athlete, has posted "We need to have this conversation" about males in women's sports. It resulted in online abuse and calls for her to be sacked, so other actors and producers on the show have … condemned her pic.twitter.com/WP4sCFK1lC
— ripx4nutmeg (@ripx4nutmeg) March 23, 2022
Texas Tiger also supported the ABC star, writing:
The left us trying to cancel Natasha Ward. They are trying to get her fired. #NatashaWardIsRight
— Texas Tiger 💜💛💜🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸 (@CostaCrew2LSU) March 26, 2022
Other social media users, however, are not happy with Ward’s comments. Emmett Tweeted:
five of my moots [mutual followers] follow natasha ward disgusting
five of my moots follow natasha ward disgusting
— emmett (@ameliaswife) March 25, 2022
Maureen Morris called for Ward to be fired after weighing in on producer Paris Barclay’s response to her original post:
So Natasha Ward issues a half- assed apology then proceeds to post an IG story calling Paris a bully! So he’s a bully because he called her out by name! And did she think we wouldn’t recognize Paris’s Tweet. She really needs to be fired. #teamParis
So Natasha Ward issues a half- assed apology then proceeds to post an IG story calling Paris a bully! 🤦🏻♀️
So he's a bully because he called her out by name!
And did she think we wouldn't recognize Paris's Tweet.
She really needs to be fired. #teamParis pic.twitter.com/t07sFHhexd
— Maureen Morris (@Baileysnoopy) March 25, 2022
The clearly contentious situation is ongoing and neither The Walt Disney Company nor ABC have issued an official statement regarding Ward’s future on Station 19 at this time.
The official website for the hit drama series describes it as, “A group of heroic Seattle firefighters risk their lives and hearts both in the line of duty and off the clock.”
What do you think about Natasha Ward?