Former college swimming champion Riley Gaines accused U.S. soccer star Megan Rapinoe of “virtue signaling” after Rapinoe signed a letter opposing a bill that would protect women’s sports.
Rapinoe was one of 40 former and current athletes who recently signed onto an open letter sponsored by a radical group that supports allowing transgender “women” to compete against natural-born females. The group’s letter is aimed at defeating the Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act that has been introduced in the House of Representatives.
Rapinoe also tweeted her support of the activist letter, saying, “Today, politicians in DC are claiming to ‘protect women’s sports’ by pushing a trans & intersex sports ban. Call your Congressional rep today to say women’s sports need protection from unequal pay, sexual abuse & lack of resources, NOT from trans kids.”
But Gaines, who has become an outspoken advocate for women’s sports, blasted Rapinoe, according to Fox News.
“It’s worth noting that 1) you are done playing sports competitively and 2) because you aren’t sexually attracted to men, you will never have a daughter to defend. To me, this simply looks like virtue signaling because you have nothing to personally lose,” Gaines tweeted back.
I can respect opinions that differ from my own and everyone is entitled to think/speak
independently, but I can't help but think Megan Rapinoe would genuinely shiv any male who tried to take her spot on the US Women's National Team.
— Riley Gaines (@Riley_Gaines_) April 11, 2023
In a second tweet, Gaines speculated that Rapinoe would “genuinely shiv any male who tried to take her spot on the US Women’s National Team.”
Gaines eventually deleted the tweets, perhaps because of the line that Rapinoe, who is gay, will “never have a daughter to defend” against trans women athletes.
But the former college swimmer is right about the activist letter. Most of the athletes who signed the letter are either already retired, are at the end of their careers, or are in sports that currently don’t allow men claiming to be women to join them.
The letter Rapinoe signed opposes a bill introduced by Rep. Greg Steube (R-FL) called the Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act. Filed in February, the bill means 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 letter is urging Congress to defeat Steube’s bill.
“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. 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,” the letter Rapinoe signed reads.