Italian Olympic downhill ski cthampion Sofia Goggia got into hot water after she made some comments about skiers who are gay.
She quickly tried to backpedal, but people weren’t having it.
Goggia, 29, was speaking with an interviewer for Corriere Della Sera, an Italian newspaper. During the interview, she was asked about there being any LGBTQ+ athletes in the sport.
“Among women yes. Not for men, I would say. You have to throw yourself down the Streif in Kitzbuhel.”
The Strief in Kitzbuhel, Austria is one of the most challenging slopes for skiers in the world. The implication is either gay men are too scared to try, or if they did, they wouldn’t survive the course.
To make matters worse, she also sprinkled in some transphobia.
“In terms of sport, a man who turns into a woman has physical characteristics, even at the hormonal level, which allow him to push harder. I don’t think it’s right then.”
So, according to Goggia, gay men are too scared to ski and transwomen have an advantage over women when it comes to all sports.
It seems like she doesn’t know what she’s talking about.
Among those calling out Goggia, one of the most prominent is Italian Deputy Minister of the Interior and LGBTQ+ rights activist Ivan Scalfarotto.
He said in a statement:
“I read with dismay that according to Sofia Goggia a gay athlete would not be able to do a downhill.”
“Before saying such things, kind Sofia, you should stop and think twice: speed is an advantage in the race but with words it can become a big problem.”
As one would expect, the criticism was too much for Goggia.
The Italian athlete made a post on Twitter attempting to apologize.
The following is a translation provided by Twitter:
“A falling tree makes more noise than a growing forest.”
“I am sorry and I apologize to all the people who felt offended by the sentence that came out in the Corriere interview which, certainly, when I said it, did not want to be of a discriminatory nature. 🌈”
However, it was too little too late,
Many commenters felt the apology issued by Goggia was insincere and dismissive of the issue.
As one person tweeted in Italian:
"Dear [Sofia Goggia] people 'did not feel offended', you offended them."
"It is not a question of our sensitivity."
"It's a question of what you said, which is discriminatory and conveys stereotypes and toxic machismo."
"You make the forest of prejudices grow too."
It’s sadly all too common for athletes to hold prejudiced views against their fellow athletes who are part of the LGBTQ+ community.
And it’s important that it’s called out when people see it.