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Olympic gold medalist Caitlyn Jenner endorses transgender athlete ban in Nassau County

Caitlyn Jenner endorses Nassau County's transgender athlete ban
Caitlyn Jenner endorses Nassau County's transgender athlete ban 02:16

NASSAU COUNTY, N.Y. -- Olympic gold medalist Caitlyn Jenner endorsed Nassau County's controversial transgender athlete ban on Monday. 

Jenner, who was once considered the world's greatest male athlete and later came out as transgender, said the future of sports is at stake. 

"It's amazing how much flack I get and all I'm trying to do is protect women," said Jenner, who won the 1976 Olympic men's decathlon. "You have to compete in the biological sex that you were born. This is critical to protecting the integrity of competition in women's sports." 

County Executive Bruce Blakeman, who banned transgender athletes from competing on girl's teams at county facilities because of their unfair physical advantage, invited Jenner. 

"There are massive advantages and undeniable differences from male development, basically going through male puberty," said Jenner. 

Trans advocates said it was disheartening that the world's most famous transgender person is using her platform in a way that hurts already marginalized people. 

"They roll her out as a representative of the transgender community, when we have seen that she's nothing more than a reality TV star," said Juli-Grey-Owens, director of Gender Equality New York.

New York Attorney General Letitia James ruled the ban clearly discriminates against trans people, but Blakeman countersued

"This is not anti-trans. This is protecting women and girls, who are a protected class under federal law in the United States Constitution," said Blakeman. 

"Women are a protected class just like transgender folks, but the bottom line here is that women are not being discriminated against. Transgender folks are. So let's be real about what the issues are here," said David Kilmnick, of the LGBT Network. 

Blakeman said the ban was proactive and conceded there was no actual local example. 

"People come up to me everyday and say thank you for being out there to protect women's sports," said Jenner. 

"I think it is better to address it now than to address it when women and girls actually get hurt," said Trinity Reed, a college lacrosse player. 

The Civil Liberties Union sued Nassau County on behalf of a women's roller derby team that welcomes trans players and would be banned from using county facilities. 

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