U.S. soccer star Megan Rapinoe argued for transgender children to be allowed to participate in sports in an op-ed published Sunday for The Washington Post.
Rapinoe pointed out that lawmakers in 25 states have introduced bills to ban transgender participation in children’s sports. Mississippi became the first state to ban transgender students from participating in girls’ sports on March 11.
I’m all for addressing the real threats to women’s sports. Let’s start with #EqualPay, and not shutting out trans kids who just want to play the sport they love. #LetKidsPlay #TransRightsAreHumanRights https://t.co/yL8kMDGwmr
— Megan Rapinoe (@mPinoe) March 28, 2021
“This important piece of legislation will ensure that young girls in Mississippi have a fair, level playing field in public schools,” Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves said at a signing event, as previously reported. (RELATED: Mississippi Becomes First State To Ban Transgender Students From Girls’ Sports)
Advocates for laws banning transgender participation from girls’ sports argue that these bills are necessary to ensure fairness in women’s sports and that trans women (biological men) have a physical advantage over biological women in athletics. Rapinoe claimed the bills were created to “solve a problem that doesn’t exist.”
“These bills are attempting to solve a problem that doesn’t exist,” Rapinoe wrote for the Post. “Transgender kids want the opportunity to play sports for the same reasons other kids do: to be a part of a team where they feel like they belong. Proponents of these bills argue that they are protecting women.”
Rapinoe claimed the “real threats” to women’s and girls’ sports are “lack of funding, resources and media coverage; sexual harassment; and unequal pay.”
“Discrimination hurts everyone,” Rapinoe said. “We’re stronger as teams, and as a country, when all people who love sports have a chance to have their lives changed for the better, just like I did.”
“I want every transgender kid out there to know that they can live their dreams and be true to who they are,” she added. “For them to realize those dreams, they need to be allowed to play.”