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28 Mar, 2019 14:09

‘Consequences are potential death’: Rapper who broke women's records on trans sport issue (VIDEO)

UK rapper Zuby, who caused ructions online by identifying as female to break the British women's deadlift record, says trans athletes competing in women's sports may result in "potential death" and could "crush" women in sport.

In February, the artist took to Twitter to give a visual presentation of the biological strength advantages men possess over women, regardless of the gender with which they believe they correlate, smashing the women's deadlift record with ease. To dispel any doubts the lift couldn't be considered legitimate, he claimed he identified as female while doing so.

READ MORE: 'Colossal advantage' Olympic champ Isinbayeva says testosterone rules should have 'no exceptions'

Through the feat, Zuby highlighted what he called the "delusion" of those who believe a biologically male athlete should be given an instant and incontrovertible right to compete alongside biological women by simply declaring to identify as female, with any argument that their physical prowess poses an unfair advantage dismissed as "transphobia."

The innocuous nine-second clip opened a proverbial can of worms on the argument of transgender athletes in sport and the wider debate of gender identity, being covered widely in international media and perhaps achieving a peak in popularity when podcaster Joe Rogan gave the clip a shout-out on his show, currently the most listened-to podcast in the world.

Over 5 million video views later, RT Sport caught up with Oxford graduate Zuby to talk coming out as female, why sport's trans issue could result in "broken bones" and "crushed records," and the fine line between compassion and delusion.

Zuby, explain to us the reaction since your video. We saw that [UFC color commentator and podcaster] Joe Rogan shouted you out on his show. How much do you agree with what he said that “anyone who thinks biological men don’t have any strength advantage over women is a fool” when referring to the clip?

It was amazing to get that shout-out. He sent me a message of course he followed me on Twitter and sent me a personal message as well. So shout-out to Joe for that. That was big. How much do I agree with what he said? One hundred percent. This is objective reality. There is an objective reality we live in. I’m very concerned about the amount of people that want to suspend objective reality in the times we live in.

It’s fine to have different opinions on things but there’s certain things that exist in the world that are not opinion. The fact that men are generally physically stronger and faster than women is a fact, its a fact we’ve been aware of for thousands and thousands of years. It's the reason why male and female sports are divided to begin with. And that should not be remotely controversial to anybody who has a very basic grounding in reality and biology.

Yeah so the response has been insane quite frankly. The original video has had 1.3 million views, some of the interviews and follow-up videos between them they’ve had several million views. I’ve had a huge amount of attention on myself nationally and internationally.

I was shouted out by Joe Rogan just the other day. In terms of gains I’ve had 20,000 something people following me on social media. Lots of messages, 99 percent of them being in support. There’s been a small amount of criticism, as expected. You’re never gonna get millions of people seeing something and you’re going to get the same response to it. It's been a bit surreal. I didn't expect a nine-second video of me doing a deadlift to gather so much attention. So it says a lot about the times that we live in.  

What do you think the dangers of ignoring the fact that biological men are naturally stronger than women pose in sports and particularly combat sports?

I think you’re talking about MMA, which has already happened. The actual results have been fractured skulls, dislocated eye sockets, broken bones - and that’s what you would expect. There’s a reason why there’s that old phrase 'men shouldn’t hit women,' and it’s based on the fact that we are physically stronger. And it’s a massive difference, particularly in upper body strength. It’s not like a minor difference. I mean, a fully trained man - an average man - could be multiple times stronger than a female. If you took an average woman off the street I’m probably quite literally four or five times as strong as her.

It’s not a small difference. So there’s a huge physical danger there in terms of broken bones, concussions, bruising, potential death. It’s the same reason why you don’t have heavyweight boxers versus featherweight boxers, because you’re going to put them at risk of death or brain damage or something like that. It’s not right. This isn’t something that should be considered political or considered being on one side or the other, this is just based in basic safety and fairness.

You’re saying that biological men should categorically not be allowed to compete in women's sports alongside biological women?

That is my personal position, yes. If you are talking about children’s sports, before people have gone through puberty then you could say, ‘yeah maybe boys and girls could maybe play football together or something like that,’ and generally you’re not going to have a massive issue. But if you’re talking about a professional adult level, you’re taking the best of the best in any given sport - maybe with the exception of I think long-distance swimming or perhaps synchronized swimming - then the men will completely dominate every time. And that’s not a sexist statement. Any woman who is being honest would agree with that. It’s not going to be a competition and if it’s a competition there will not be any women in professional sports any more, you’d completely wipe them out, taken to its logical conclusion.

What was your intention with the clip identifying as female to break the British women's deadlift record? Was it just to ruffle some feathers, or did you intend to get these points across?

Well, I think it hit the nerve perfectly because I wanted it to be something that people would find amusing and somewhat funny, but the underlying message is quite a serious and important one. Because I’m kind of saying, ‘look, I’m not a professional powerlifter, but even I myself I can stroll into the gym on any given day and I can break the British women’s bench press record. I can break the British women’s deadlift record.' When I’m on form I could potentially break the British female squat record - and I don’t even compete.

There are men who are significantly stronger than me so if I can break all these records, then this should be a very clear, visual demonstration of why it’s a bad idea to allow men and women to compete [against each other] in these sports.

It’s not about explicitly trying to exclude anyone from competing period. It's just saying that if you were born a man and you have a male frame and a male body, then you should not be competing against women because it is going to give you an advantage and people who say otherwise are not being not honest, they’re not telling the truth or perhaps they genuinely just do not understand just how significant these differences are.

Do you plan to break any more records?

[Laughs] Well they weren’t official records. This was obviously in a training session rather than in a sanctioned meet. But yeah I did the deadlift one and the bench press one as well. In fact with the bench press one I put up a video of me lifting it for multiple reps. The deadlift one I could do for probably five or six reps with that weight as well. But the video I put up was of me just doing a single rep. But I think you can tell by watching the video that it wasn't exerting maximum effort.