Hockey player Jamie Benn condemned for liking transphobic video after ‘performative’ LGBT+ allyship

LGBTQ

Jamie Benn of the Dallas Stars liked a post on Instagram that argued against trans participation in sport. (Glenn James/NHLI via Getty)

National Hockey League player Jamie Benn has come under fire after he liked an Instagram post that said trans women shouldn’t be allowed to play sports.

Benn, who is captain of the Dallas Stars, liked a video posted on Instagram by right-wing pundit Candace Owens in which she declared that Donald Trump is a “feminist icon” because of his recent attack on trans women in sport at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Sunday (28 February).

The video was captioned: “Biological men shouldn’t be allowed to compete in women’s sports.”

Hemal Jhaveri, race and inclusion editor at USA Today, shared a screenshot on Twitter which showed that Benn had liked the post.

“Does Jamie Benn know his Instagram likes are public? This is some heinous, hateful, anti-trans garbage Candace Owens is spewing,” Jhaveri tweeted.

Benn has been roundly criticised on social media for liking the post, with some sharing an image of his involvement in the NHL’s “Hockey is for Everyone” campaign which saw him posing with an ice hockey stick decorated with the rainbow colours to show the importance of LGBT+ inclusion.

Many have questioned whether Benn is actually committed to LGBT+ inclusion in sport after he liked a post that specifically argues for trans exclusion.

Others also pointed out that Benn has never shown support for women’s sports in the past, and questioned why he is only taking an interest once trans inclusion is on the table.

Jamie Benn support for LGBT+ community was ‘all for show’

Trans triathlete Chris Mosier slammed Benn for taking part in the “Hockey is for Everyone” campaign.

Mosier said the campaign “signals league support for the LGBTQ+ community – including transgender people.”

“Randomly seeing Jamie Benn’s like on a blatantly anti-trans post is a direct contradiction to the messaging of Pride Tape/NHL,” he wrote.

He continued: “To hold Pride Tape and then be in agreement of anti-trans statements means it’s all for show – so many LGBTQ+ fans really take it to heart when they see their favourite players supporting them publicly with this taped stick. It’s a big deal.

“Trans kids are being crushed by state lawmakers and singled out for discrimination. That trans community and their allies need people in sports who will uplift them and be by their sides – not just for the photo, not just for Pride Month, outright now when it really matters.”

Countless others also criticised Benn for liking he post.

Benn has not yet responded to the criticism. PinkNews contacted the Dallas Stars for comment.

The controversy comes as various legislative attacks on the trans community make their way through state assemblies in America.

Lawmakers in at least 20 states are currently targeting the trans community with a series of bills that seek to criminalise trans healthcare and participation in sport.

Disgraced former president Donald Trump sought to capitalise on unfounded and baseless fears about trans people in his first public address since leaving the White House on Sunday.

In his speech, Trump incorrectly claimed that “a lot of new records are being broken in women’s sports” by trans people, and said cisgender women are being forced to compete against “biological males”.

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