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Megan Rapinoe: Banning Transgender Athletes from Women's Sports Is 'Disgusting'

AP Photo/David J. Phillip

In an interview this week, U.S. women’s soccer player Megan Rapinoe called bans on transgender athletes competing in sports “disgusting” and slammed states that have passed laws banning biological male transgender athletes from women’s sports. 


Rapinoe made the remarks in an interview with TIME Magazine. She said in the interview that she supports the inclusion of “transgender” athletes and said that inclusion for trans people should extend beyond sports. 

“You mentioned the issue of transgender inclusion in sports, which is such a hot subject right now, as many states have passed bills that ban or limit transgender sports participation. Where do you stand on this issue?” TIME asked Rapinoe.

“I’m 100 percent supportive of trans inclusion,” Rapinoe told TIME. She added that there’s regulation on every level in sports already.

“And 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. 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. We’re talking about kids. We’re talking about people’s lives. We’re talking about the entire state government coming down on one child in some states, three children in some states. They are committing suicide, because they are being told that they’re gross and different and evil and sinful and they can’t play sports with their friends that they grew up with. Not to mention trying to take away health care. I think it’s monstrous,” she added.


Townhall has covered how several states, including Louisiana, South Carolina, Oklahoma Iowa and Arizona have passed legislation barring biological males from women’s sports.

“I would also encourage everyone out there who is afraid someone’s going to have an unfair advantage over their kid to really take a step back and think what are we actually talking about here. We’re talking about people’s lives. I’m sorry, your kid’s high school volleyball team just isn’t that important. It’s not more important than any one kid’s life,” Rapinoe said.

“Show me the evidence that trans women are taking everyone’s scholarships, are dominating in every sport, are winning every title. I’m sorry, it’s 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 can’t start at the opposite. That is cruel. And frankly, it’s just disgusting,” she added.

This week, Sarah covered how FINA, the international governing body for professional swimming, announced its decision to ban transgender athletes from women’s elite events. However, the new policy will allow transgender athletes to compete in women’s events if they complete their transition by age 12 and maintain their circulating testosterone levels below the levels of 2.5 nmol/L.


“This is not saying that people are encouraged to transition by the age of 12. It’s what the scientists are saying, that if you transition after the start of puberty, you have an advantage, which is unfair,” James Pierce, the spokesperson for the FINA president said of the decision.

FINA’s decision came after biological male transgender swimmer Will “Lia" Thomas competed on the women’s University of Pennsylvania swim team this past season. Thomas had competed on the men’s team for three consecutive seasons previously. Thomas took home a women’s Division I title at NCAA swimming championships in March. Several members of the women's UPenn swimming team spoke out about Thomas on the condition of anonymity.

In the United Kingdom, biological male transgender cyclist Zach “Emily” Bridges was barred from competing in a women’s race. Shortly after, United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in an interview that transgender women should not be in women’s sports. 

"I don't think that biological males should be competing in female sporting events. And maybe that's a controversial thing ... but it just seems to me to be sensible," Johnson said.


"And I also happen to think that women should have spaces, whether it's in hospitals or prisons or changing rooms or wherever, which are dedicated to women. That's as far as my thinking has developed on this issue. If that puts me in conflict with some others, then we have got to work it all out," Johnson added.

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