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28 Oct, 2021 12:58

‘This is so awful’: US women’s team captain Megan Rapinoe slams bill banning transgender girls from competing as ‘beyond words’

‘This is so awful’: US women’s team captain Megan Rapinoe slams bill banning transgender girls from competing as ‘beyond words’

Women's football superstar Megan Rapinoe has expressed her disgust at the passing of a bill in Texas banning transgender girls from participating in female sports at school.

Ballon d'Or Feminin winner Rapinoe has been outspoken in her contempt for laws that prevent girls who have transitioned from participating with competitors born as women, warning that the legislation is harmful and aims to deal with what she believes is a non-existent problem.

Earlier this year, the US Women's National Team captain said sport has become "another avenue to attack the rights of trans people", adding that transgender people were being treated unfairly "because of who they are" in an opinion piece in the Washington Post.

On Monday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed the bill into law at public schools, concluding a period which has seen protests from campaigners at the Senate amid a procession of similar initiatives across Republican states in the US.

Also on rt.com Texas governor signs bill requiring student athletes to compete according to their sex at birth, not gender identity

Social justice warrior Rapinoe is not impressed. "Oh, Governor Abbott," she sarcastically told the ardent supporter of former US president Donald Trump.

"Thank you so much for saving our girls' sports, what a hero – said no-one ever. This is so awful. Beyond words."

Earlier this month, Rapinoe was one of more than 150 athletes who added their names to a court brief filed in the US Court of Appeals, led by the WNBA, the Women's Sports Foundation and the Athlete Ally LGBTQ non-profit group.

The move opposed a suit filed in February by three female high school athletes in Connecticut who said the inclusion of transgender athletes in their gender heats was hurting their ambitions.

"The benefits of sports extend to all aspects of school and throughout life," the brief said.

"But these benefits are diminished when some athletes are excluded because of who they are."

Tennis great Billie Jean King was among the athletes to sign. "There is no place in any sport for discrimination of any kind,” she said, adding that the global athletic community is strengthened when "we welcome and champion all athletes."

“I'm proud to support all transgender athletes who simply want the access and opportunity to compete in the sport they love."

Rapinoe and King's views were endorsed by their supporters on social media, with one praising the "medical experts and iconic women athletes" who had provided their signatures.

Also on rt.com Texas governor accused of attacking trans kids & ‘rallying right with bullsh*t & fear’ over bill on gender participation in sports

"Texas had already essentially banned trans kids from authentic participation in sports by requiring it align with the gender of their birth certificate," they said.

"But the University Interscholastic League permitted legally amended birth certificates to fit this restriction. No more. This bill requires at-time-of-birth.

"Here's a cruel irony: the number of trans student-athletes in Texas in K-12 sports could, at best, barely fill a standard classroom. At best. More than likely, we're talking like a dozen kids. Maybe.

"And yet, when asked where this is a problem, Abbott couldn't respond because it's not a problem in Texas or anywhere else.

"The campaign against trans children in sports is built on an argument against a problem that doesn't exist."

Others said they had been "embarrassed" by the state ruling and claimed they were even considering moving away as a result.

Abbott supporters have voiced relief over the bill. "Good decision," said one. "We need more people who will stand up for fairness rather than pandering to pressure groups. Good luck to him, though – he'll need it."

Another said: "Amazing even that a bill should have [needed to be] signed into law. Well done."

Also on rt.com ‘We don’t know what the rules should be’: Cyclist who became woman predicts transgender decisions ‘won't be done’ by 2024 Olympics