Megan Rapinoe ‘100% supportive’ of trans athletes – and calls arguments to the contrary ‘disgusting’
American women’s soccer hero Megan Rapinoe has spoken out strongly in favor of including transgender women in women’s sports, calling the arguments against “cruel and disgusting.”
The veteran soccer star, who co-captured the United States Women’s National Team in 2019 when they won a second consecutive World Cup, rejected the idea that trans women dominate women’s sports and should therefore be regulated.
Instead, she argued that it is cruel to exclude them from lower-level competition, because people consider their “children’s school volleyball team” more important than the lives and well-being of transgender people.
Her comments come in the wake of the furore surrounding the new policy of the professional swimming organization FINA (Fédération Internationale de Natation), which bans transgender women from participating in swimming races.
The decision came in response to transgender UPenn swimmer Lia Thomas’ record victories in college swimming, leading to claims that the trans athlete had an extreme advantage as a result of going through male puberty.
“Show me the proof that trans women take everyone’s purses, dominate every sport and win every title,” de Rapinoe said. “I’m sorry, it just won’t happen.”
“I’m 100 percent behind trans-inclusion,” she told TIME. ‘People don’t know much about it. We miss almost everything.’
American soccer legend Megan Rapinoe has said she is 100 percent in favor of trans inclusion, claiming the issue is misunderstood and arguments to exclude trans athletes are “cruel and disgusting.”
Elite swimming is the first sport to ban transgender athletes from women’s races as they go through male puberty, the International Swimming Sports Federation announced on Sunday. Lia Thomas, a transgender swimmer, is pictured
Transgender cyclist Emily Bridges was recently banned from competing against Laura Kenny in the National Omnium Championships by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), the world governing body.
Jenner, 72, who famously won the gold medal in the men’s decathlon at the 1976 Montreal Olympics, came forward to ban transgender swimmers from participating if they switched after the age of 12
Rapinoe, who co-captained the United States women’s national team in 2019 when they won a second consecutive World Cup, is an outspoken advocate for trans rights
Rapinoe defended transgender female athletes on the grounds that the issue is little understood because of “the points of discussion from the right because they are very loud, very consistent and relentless.”
‘There is regulation at the highest level. In collegiate sports there is regulation. And at Olympic and professional level. It’s not like it’s a free-for-all where everyone just does whatever they want.’
She argued that we need to approach the issue from the perspective of how to involve transgender female athletes — “but we can’t start with the opposite.” That’s cruel. And honestly, it’s just disgusting.”
The US women’s soccer captain dismissed arguments about fairness as pale in comparison to “human lives” because people “commit suicide, are told they are rude and different and evil and sinful and that they can’t play sports with their friends they grew up with.” .
“Sorry, your kid’s volleyball team just isn’t that important. It’s no more important than a child’s life.’
But it’s the supposedly unfair physical advantage that some transgender female athletes have over cisgender women that has caused outrage in the United States.
In addition to the many international sports organizations enacting laws against trans athletes, many US states are enacting similar legislation. Texas pushes for new laws regarding trans youth.
“We’ll go through with it all,” God forbid a trans person is successful in sports,” added Rapinoe. ‘Get a grip on reality and take a step back.’
Caitlyn Jenner was a noted transgender woman who spoke out against Rapinoe’s stance and celebrated the FINA ban on transgender women competing in women’s races if they complete their menopause after age 12.
The decathlete shared her joy shortly after Sunday’s announcement, writing: ‘It worked! I took a lot of heat – but what is fair is fair! If you’re going through male puberty, you shouldn’t be able to take medals from women. Period of time.’
In order to participate, transgender swimmers will have to prove to the federation that they have continuously suppressed their testosterone levels since that age.
Jenner followed that up by tweeting DailyMail.com’s story about the ban.
Jenner, 72, won the famous gold medal in the men’s decathlon at the 1976 Montreal Olympics as Bruce. She also won gold in the same competition at the 1975 Pan American Games in Mexico City.
Lia Thomas has broken a number of records in women’s swimming for the NCAA since she switched to a woman
She has sparked controversy, with experts claiming she has an ‘unfair’ advantage for going through male puberty, while her fellow competitors refused to pose with her for a photo
However, to accommodate the transgender athletes, FINA is establishing an “open category” for transgender athletes to compete against each other in events such as the World Swimming Championships, World Swimming Championships and World Swimming Cup.
British trans cyclist Emily Bridges was also recently blocked from racing Olympic legend Laura Kenny in the National Omnium Championships by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), the world governing body.
A young healthy man’s testosterone level will range from 20-30 nanomoles per liter (the measure for testosterone), compared to a woman’s range of 0.7 to 2.8 – transgender athletes who want to compete with women must take hormone-suppressing medication to to become eligible.
Such a policy would prevent Thomas from participating in the international events that would elevate her standing in international swimming and potentially earn her a place in the Olympics – which she said in a recent interview she would like to participate in in the future.
However, her meteoric rise to the top of the women’s charts has caused a stir in the United States, with many arguing that she has an unfair physical advantage over her fellow competitors.
Megan Rapinoe has been an outspoken advocate on a number of social justice issues, including gender equality in sport and the fight for equal pay between international teams for men and women.
She has also been a consistent advocate for trans rights.
In 2019, Rapinoe — along with other female players — sued US Soccer for equal pay with its male counterparts.