Transgender athletes are not a threat to women’s sports, U.S. women’s national soccer team star Megan Rapinoe wrote in an op-ed published Sunday by The Washington Post.
Rapinoe’s piece was in response to a slew of proposed legislation in various states that would prevent transgender girls from competing in girls’ and women’s sports at the youth and collegiate level, which she called “some of the most intense political assaults on LGBTQ people in recent years.” In Mississippi, for example, Gov. Tate Reeves (R) has already signed into law a bill that requires the state’s schools to divide teams based on sex assigned at birth.
Many advocates for similar bills say they are necessary to protect the competitive integrity of girls’ and women’s sports because transgender girls have a biological advantage over their peers. But Rapinoe, an athlete at the highest level of her sport, dismissed that notion. “These bills are attempting to solve a problem that doesn’t exist,” she wrote. “Transgender kids want the opportunity to play sports for the same reason other kids do: to be a part of a team where they feel like they belong … As a woman who has played sports my whole life, I know that the threats to women’s and girls’ sports are lack of funding, resources, and media coverage; sexual harassment; and unequal pay.”