Olympic committee releases inclusivity guidelines asking broadcasters to avoid ‘problematic’ terms for transgender athletes

The International Olympic Committee published a series of “portrayal guidelines” to discourage broadcasters from using “problematic” language when describing transgender athletes.

The guidelines said they seek to make print and television broadcasts of the Olympics “gender-equal, fair and inclusive representations” of sport, but simply pushed gender and sexual orientation-based ideologies through the method of controlling speech.

The third edition of the Portrayal Guidelines for “Olympic Movement stakeholders” called for the “gender-equal” portrayal of athletes in all forms of communication and asked for broadcasters to adapt their presentation to adhere to “cultural contexts.”

This of course means nearly the entirety of the guidelines is focused on gender ideology.

Among the 30+ pages of religious doctrine were guidelines on “problematic language.” This particular section of speech-policing explained that there are many “common language difficulties” tied to reporting on transgender athletes and asked reporters to avoid “common missteps” and otherwise “harmful language.”

The guidelines suggested avoiding the following terms:

  • Born male
  • Born female
  • Biologically male/female
  • Genetically male/female
  • Male-to-female (MtF)
  • Female-to-male (FtM)

These phrases were described as “dehumanizing and inaccurate” and claimed that a person’s sex is not based on “genetics alone.” A bold claim was also made in the document when it said that a person’s biology can be altered by undergoing gender-related procedures.

“A person’s sex category is not assigned based on genetics alone and aspects of a person’s biology can be altered when they pursue gender-affirming medical care,” the guidelines claimed.

‘Avoid passive, sexy imagery of sportspeople which reinforces stereotypes.’

The text continued, asking broadcasters not to call an athlete’s “identity into question by referring to the sex category that was registered on their original birth certificate.”

Unironically, other terms to avoid were listed, such as “transsexual.” Phrases like “identifies as,” “he/she is a transgender,” and “the transgenders” were frowned upon. The document even looked down upon the terms “sex change” or “post-operative/surgery.”

The guidelines indeed warned broadcasters of “unconscious bias,” “gender stereotypes,” and “gender bias,” while asking journalists to use gender-neutral language. This is advised in order to avoid “words and expressions which could be interpreted as biased, discriminatory or sexist.”

For photography, the committee asked that journalists “avoid passive, sexy imagery of sportspeople which reinforces stereotypes.” It also asked not to focus on looks and not to focus too much on one athlete. Photographers also must “ensure there are not significantly more images of one gender community.” Rather, they should “capture diversity.” The document also requested that photographers avoid reinforcing feminine and masculine stereotypes.

The report claimed that a lack of female representation in sports broadcasting is essentially due to discrimination. It pointed out that just 4% of sports media content is dedicated to women, yet 12% of sports news is presented by women. It noted that the highest-earning female athlete in the world, tennis player Coco Gauff, made $22.7 million in 2023, while soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo made $275 million.

The guidelines rivaled even the most extreme activist-backed documents in recent history. The document cited sources like GLAAD, ESPN, and gay activist groups in its references. It also pointed toward several United Nations guidelines as additional resources.

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