U.S. women’s soccer star Megan Rapinoe joined the effort to force the inclusion of transgender athletes in children’s sports.
Rapinoe created a video for Human Rights Campaign and also added her name to an op-ed published on Sunday in the Washington Post pushing for men claiming to be transgender women to play among players born female.
“As someone who has played sports with someone who is trans, I can assure you all is well, nothing is spontaneously combusting.”
You heard @mPinoe — #LetKidsPlay. pic.twitter.com/DL421waBTi
— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) March 24, 2021
In the Post editorial, Rapinoe excoriated the 25 states looking to enact laws that ban transgender players to one degree or another and characterized these bills as barring trans children from being allowed to play sports. The bills, Rapinoe railed, are “assaults on the LGBTQ” community.
“These bills are some of the most intense political assaults on LGBTQ people in recent years. Sports have become another avenue to attack the rights of trans people,” she wrote. “These efforts cause incredible harm to trans youth, who, like all kids in a global pandemic, are feeling isolated and need compassion and support. Even before the pandemic hit, 1 in 3 transgender youth reported attempting suicide, as one national crisis-prevention organization reported in 2019.”
Rapinoe claimed that such bills are “attempting to solve a problem that doesn’t exist.” Boys claiming to be girls, she says, do not threaten natural-born female athletes.
One might see how that argument flies with the natural-born female fighters who have faced transgender fighter Fallon Fox, who was born a man. Fox has seriously injured many female fighters, even breaking one woman’s skull and ending her professional fighting career.
Indeed, Rapinoe thinks that unequal pay is more of a threat to women’s sports than transgender contestants.
“Proponents of these bills argue that they are protecting women. As a woman who has played sports my whole life, I know that the threats to women’s and girls’ sports are lack of funding, resources, and media coverage; sexual harassment; and unequal pay,” her op-ed says.
Banning biological boys claiming to be girls from girls’ sports, Rapinoe insists, is “discrimination.”
“Adults can’t pretend that we care about the well-being of children while actively creating environments that cause serious harm to them. We can’t make demands for a false sense of fairness while ignoring the actual needs of women and girls,” she wrote.
Rapinoe adds that “Transgender kids deserve the same chances to enjoy sports; to gain confidence, self-respect and leadership skills” as every other kid. Yet, she does not mention that states aren’t looking to ban transgender kids from all sports — the various bills under consideration and those already enacted only limit players to their birth gender.
But Rapinoe persists, saying, “Discrimination hurts everyone. We’re stronger as teams, and as a country, when all people who love sports have a chance to have their lives changed for the better, just like I did.
“I want every transgender kid out there to know that they can live their dreams and be true to who they are. For them to realize those dreams, they need to be allowed to play,” she concludes.
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