Megan Rapinoe Criticises 'Disgusting' Exclusion Of Transgender Athletes
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US footballer Megan Rapinoe has come out in support of transgender athletes branding the decision to exclude transgender athletes as ‘cruel’ and ‘disgusting’.
Rapinoe, who plays for OL Reign, has said she is ‘100 percent’ in support of transgender inclusion, an issue which has been a hot topic in recent months.
The footballer told TIME: “I’m 100 percent supportive of trans inclusion. People do not know very much about it. We’re missing almost everything.
"Frankly, I think what a lot of people know is versions of the right’s talking points because they’re very loud. They’re very consistent, and they’re relentless.
"At the highest level, there is regulation. In collegiate sports, there is regulation. And at the Olympic and professional level. It’s not like it’s a free-for-all where everyone’s just doing whatever."
Rapinoe, who has played in two World Cups, went on to say that she’d seen no evidence that showed trans athletes were ‘dominating in every sport’.
She went on: “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.
"So, we need to really kind of take a step back and get a grip on what we’re really talking about here because people’s lives are at risk. Kids’ lives are at risk with the rates of suicide, the rates of depression and negative mental health and drug abuse.
"We’re putting everything through God forbid a trans person be successful in sports. Get a grip on reality and take a step back."
Rapinoe’s comments came just before the professional swimming body Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA) announced a ban on transgender women competing in races.
FINA’s new rules will ban any one who has been through male puberty from competing in women’s events; the body also said it would setting up a group to help establish an open competition category welcoming all athletes ‘without regard to their sex, their legal gender, or their gender identity’.
FINA president Husain Al-Musallam said: “We have to protect the rights of our athletes to compete, but we also have to protect competitive fairness at our events, especially the women’s category at FINA competitions.”
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence contact Mindline Trans+ on 0300 330 5468. The line is open 8pm–midnight Mondays and Fridays and is run by trans volunteers