Tags: mack beggs | transgender | wrestler | booed

Mack Beggs: Transgender Wrestler Booed After 2nd State Title Win

Image: Mack Beggs: Transgender Wrestler Booed After 2nd State Title Win

Mack Beggs of Euless Trinity defeated Chelsea Sanchez of Morton Ranch to defend his Class 6A girls 110-pound title during the UIL State Wrestling Championships at the Berry Center, Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018, in Cypress, Texas. (Jason Fochtman /Houston Chronicle via AP)

By    |   Monday, 26 February 2018 09:03 AM

Mack Beggs, a transgender wrestler from Texas, captured his second state high school title over the weekend to a chorus of boos and jeers from members of the crowd who felt it was an unfair match.

Beggs, 18, won the Texas girls' Class 6A 110-pound division for Euless Trinity for the second straight year, and the tournament unfolded much the way it did a year ago: Beggs defeated the same state championship match opponent, Chelsea Sanchez of Katy Morton Ranch, at the same venue in Cypress, outside of Houston, the Dallas Morning News reported.

Beggs, who began transitioning from female to male a few years ago, wrestles in the girls' division under University Interscholastic League rules, which mandate that athletes compete as the gender listed on their birth certificate, according to the Morning News' SportsDay.

"It definitely felt different," Beggs said after his second state title win, according to the Dallas Morning News. "I felt a lot more humble. This year I wanted to prove a point that anyone can do anything. Even though I was put in this position, even though I didn't want to be put in this position, even though I wanted to wrestle the guys, I still had to wrestle the girls."

The teen came under scrutiny last year when a parent tried to stop him from wrestling in the female division by filing a lawsuit arguing that Beggs’ use of testosterone during his transition gave him a competitive advantage, USA Today reported.

But even though "state law and UIL rules prohibit steroid use by high school athletes, Beggs' testosterone injections are permissible, however, because of the law's 'safe harbor' provision, which allows steroids that are 'dispensed, prescribed, delivered, and administered by a medical practitioner for a valid medical purpose,'" the Morning News reported.

“He has so much respect for all the girls he wrestles,” Beggs' mother, Angela McNew, said, according to ESPN. “People think Mack has been beating up on girls . . . The girls he wrestles with, they are tough. It has more to do with skill and discipline than strength.”

Despite all the backlash, Beggs entered the ring and capped a perfect 36-0 season.

However, Kayla Fitts, who lost to Beggs in the semifinals, said the fight was unfair.

“The strength definitely was the difference,” she said, according to the Morning News. “I didn't anticipate how strong he was.”

Beggs has taken the criticism in stride, saying that wrestling “all comes down to technique and who has the most heart,” he told WFAA, according to USA Today.

The teen is hoping to pursue a career in wrestling, with the hope of taking up an out-of-state school scholarship and competing in the NCAA and, ultimately, the Olympics, where there are rules allowing for athletes to compete as the gender they identify with.

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Mack Beggs, a transgender wrestler from Texas, captured his second state high school title over the weekend to a chorus of boos and jeers from members of the crowd who felt it was an unfair match.
mack beggs, transgender, wrestler, booed
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2018-03-26
Monday, 26 February 2018 09:03 AM
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