Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird are among 40 athletes who have signed onto a letter supporting transgender athletes competing as women and in opposition to a bill being introduced in Congress to protest women’s sports.
The group of athletes also includes Olympic hammer thrower Gwen Berry, who has repeatedly protested against the U.S.A. during her events, retired soccer player Lori Lindsey, and former Team U.S.A. soccer player Becky Sauerbrunn. Most of those who signed the advocacy letter are either already retired or are later in their careers and won’t be personally affected by transgender “women” invading their sports.
The letter, sponsored by the LGBTQ advocacy group Athlete Ally, wrote the open letter to oppose House Bill 734, which would mandate that federal Title IX rules require that girls’ sports in schools be restricted to participants born as females.
The letter states that the signers feel that “every child deserves to have their life changed for the better by being able to participate in the sport that they love.”
“We believe that gender equity in sport is critical, which is why we urge policymakers to turn their attention and effort to the causes women athletes have been fighting for decades, including equal pay, an end to abuse and mistreatment, uneven implementation of Title IX, and a lack of access and equity for girls of color and girls with disabilities, to name only a few,” the letter reads. “Our deepest hope is that transgender and intersex kids will never have to feel the isolation, exclusion, and othering that H.R. 734 is seeking to enshrine into law.”
Rep. Greg Steube (R-FL) introduced the Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act in February to enact an amendment to Title IX “to provide that for purposes of determining compliance with Title IX of such Act in athletics, sex shall be recognized based solely on a person’s reproductive biology and genetics at birth.”
Steube’s bill goes on to say it will be a violation of Title IK for “a recipient of Federal financial assistance who operates, sponsors, or facilitates athletic programs or activities to permit a person whose sex is male to participate in an athletic program or activity that is designated for women or girls.”
The bill has not yet come up for debate.