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Megan Rapinoe fiercely defends trans inclusion in sport: 'Lives are at risk'

The US women's soccer star had a message for parents afraid a trans person would have an unfair advantage over their kid: "Get a grip on reality and take a step back."

Megan Rapinoe fiercely defends trans inclusion in sport: 'Lives are at risk'
Image Source: The 2021 Met Gala Celebrating In America: A Lexicon Of Fashion - Arrivals. NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 13. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

Warning: Transphobia, mentions of suicide

Earlier this month, FINA, swimming's international governing body, voted to prohibit transgender athletes from competing in women's races if they had gone through any part of the process of male puberty. Governing bodies of other sports have hinted that they may follow suit. In light of this, the U.S. women's national soccer team star Megan Rapinoe fervently defended transgender inclusion in sport. In an interview with TIME magazine, she categorically expressed her dissent against bills that restrict trans individuals' participation in sports, especially because such legislation could be the difference between life and death. Rapinoe particularly discussed how transphobic legislation hurts young people, INSIDER reports.


She said she was "100 percent supportive of trans inclusion," noting that the underlying message of recently passed legislation was that trans folks are "gross and different and evil and sinful and they cannot play sports with their friends that they grew up with." She called such rules "monstrous." "I think people also need to understand that sports is not the most important thing in life, right? Life is the most important thing in life." Rapinoe stated. "And so much of this trans inclusion argument has been put through the extremely tiny lens of elite sports. Like that is not the way that we need to be framing this question."


The soccer player continued, "We are talking about kids. We are talking about people's lives. We are talking about the entire state government coming down on one child in some states, three children in some states. They are committing suicide." She went on to explain how most people "do not know very much about the issue" as transgender people's participation in sports is overwhelmingly dictated by "the right's talking points because they're very loud" and "relentless." Rapinoe also had a message for those who are afraid [a trans person is] going to have an unfair advantage over their kid: "Get a grip on reality and take a step back."


"I am sorry, your kid's high school volleyball team just is not that important," she asserted. "It is not more important than any one kid's life." Furthermore, she called for others to recognize that the idea that trans people are dominating sports is largely fallacious. For instance, only 10 out transgender athletes have competed at the NCAA Division I level, as per Outsports. Rapinoe concluded, "Show me the evidence that trans women are taking everyone's scholarships, are dominating in every sport, are winning every title. I am sorry, it is just not happening. So we need to start from inclusion, period. And as things arise, I have confidence that we can figure it out. But we cannot start at the opposite. That is cruel. And frankly, it is just disgusting."


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