Over 40 professional athletes have signed a letter opposing a piece of federal legislation seeking to ban trans women and girls from participating in women’s sports.
The letter’s signatories include LGBTQ greats like Megan Rapinoe, Sue Bird, Chris Mosier, and CeCe Telfer. It declares that every child deserves to have their life changed for the better by being able to participate in the sport that they love.
The bill was introduced by Republican Gregory Steube (Florida) as the Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act of 2023. It would amend Title IX regulations so that individuals whose biological sex at birth was male cannot participate in programs that are for women and girls.
The athletes said: “Denying children access to a place where they can gain significant mental and physical health benefits and learn lifelong lessons that come from being part of a team and working hard towards your goals does not protect women in sports.”
The athletes also pointed out that the bill could have negative repercussions on both trans and cisgender women: “If this bill passes, transgender and intersex girls and women throughout the country will be forced to sit on the sidelines, away from their peers and their communities. Furthermore, the policing of who can and cannot play school sports will very likely lead to the policing of the bodies of all girls, including cisgender girls. This will deter girls from participating in sports and create additional barriers.”
The letter concluded by encouraging lawmakers to focus on policies that would actually advance equality, such as equal pay, an end to abuse and mistreatment, uneven implementation of Title IX, and a lack of access and equity for girls of color and girls with disabilities.
Read the letter here.