Former professional soccer player Lori Lindsey claimed Saturday that banning transgender athletes in women’s sports was a way to “uphold white supremacy.”
Lindsey, a former member of the U.S. Women’s National Team, told CBS News anchor Lana Zak that if the goal was really to protect women’s sports — as many lawmakers say — then the best way to do that would be to fight for things like equal pay and more women in leadership roles in sports organizations. (RELATED: Alabama Legislature Votes To Bar Transgender Athletes From Girls’ School Teams)
Zak began the segment by noting that legislators in the state of Pennsylvania had joined those from several other states in introducing a bill that would ban transgender athletes from participating on women’s sports teams. Democratic Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf has already signaled that he would veto the measure.
“To talk more about this is Lori Lindsey, former member of U.S. women’s national soccer team and a current sports broadcaster,” Zak said. “Supporters insist that it is protecting women’s sports or girls’ sports and what do you see as the core motivation really behind these laws?”
Lindsey began by saying that there was a lot of misinformation about transgender youth, adding, “These bills do uphold white supremacy under the guise of protecting women’s sport when we actually know that women’s sport, protection of it, would be to have more funding and to have more women in leadership positions and equal pay. But the reality, though, is that these youth just want to participate with their friends and play sports like everyone else.”
Lindsey went on to note that organized sports reduced the risk for depression in young people, saying that access to sports were especially important after a year of quarantines and lockdowns due to the spread of coronavirus.
“I want to circle back to something you said earlier about these bills are trying to perpetuate supremacy,” Zak pressed. “I imagine that there are parents at home who have genetically, or who have daughters who were assigned a female gender at birth, and that are concerned that their child is not going to get a fair shake in competing against other people, against a trans girl and they’re not thinking this is a supremacists position. How do you appeal to that parent that feels it is just about the sports to see that there’s actually a greater debate that is a proxy for?”
“It kind of goes back to what I was saying in general, that these youth just want to play sports, right?” Lindsey replied, saying that what was truly important was that all students would have access to sports. “It’s not about coming in and taking over women’s sports but just about having access to the lessons that sports teach us. That should be upheld across this country because years ago we decided that discrimination is not right in this country, and that we need to continue to provide access, and that everyone should have equal opportunity.”