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Megan Rapinoe Defends Transgender Athletes Competing In Women's Sports

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Megan Rapinoe Defends Transgender Athletes Competing In Women's Sports

Megan Rapinoe has defended transgender athletes competing in women's sport, after swimming decided to ban them from women's elite events.

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On the weekend FINA, swimming's world governing body, decided that any athlete that had gone through any part of male puberty, meaning transgender athletes, could not compete in the women's sport.

FINA are going to establish an 'open' category, for those competing whose gender identity is different than their sex assigned at birth.

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The decision has not had 100% backing, with former Australian swimmer Maddie Groves, one of the first to speak out against the announcement.

Now one of US soccer's most famous names, Rapinoe, has defended the inclusion of transgender athletes in all sports, saying people "don't know much," about the subject.

"I’m 100% supportive of trans inclusion," the 36-year-old told TIME, "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.

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"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 is not one to shy away from the tough conversations and her politics and calls for equality have a happy knack of winding people up.

She was at the forefront of helping the women's national team get equal pay earlier this year, after a long battle with the football association.

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It's no surprise that the OL Reign star is all for inclusion and has argued there isn't the evidence that trans athletes are unfairly taking up anyone's place in women's sport.

The two time World Cup winner has previously argued that the lack of equal pay, and other factors, threatened women's sport, and not transgender athletes.

Rapinoe isn't one to hide her thoughts. Image: Alamy
Rapinoe isn't one to hide her thoughts. Image: Alamy

"Show me the evidence that trans women are taking everyone’s scholarships, are dominating in every sport, are winning every title," she added, "I’m sorry, it’s just not happening.

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"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."

It remains to be seen if other sports will follow in swimming's lead.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Megan Rapinoe, Swimming, USA, Women's Football

Ryan Sidle
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