Megan Rapinoe Abandons Female Athletes

The soccer star’s call for absolute ‘trans inclusion’ in sports is hypocritical and unworkable.

Superstar soccer player Megan Rapinoe affirmed that she is “100 percent supportive of trans inclusion” in athletics. She characterizes legislation preserving women’s sports as a “monstrous” overreaction: “We’re talking about the entire state government coming down on one child in some states, three children in some states.

” She further complains that “we’re putting everything through God forbid a trans person be successful in sports.” Rapinoe then invites rebuttal: “Show me the evidence that trans women are taking everyone’s scholarships, are dominating in every sport, are winning every title.”This threshold is absurdly high: She’s only worried about complete domination, and if that happens, she’s confident “we can figure it out.” Suddenly, the people obsessed with marginalization are only concerned when injustice occurs on a large scale — it is only problematic when all the best female athletes are male.

Yet there is copious evidence pointing to a potential patriarchal regime reigning over women’s sports: William “Lia” Thomas won the NCAA Division I women’s swimming championship in the 500-yard freestyle, Craig “CeCé” Telfer won the women’s 400-meter hurdles title at the 2019 NCAA Division II track and field national championships, Gavin “Laurel” Hubbard won two medals in the women’s +90kg category at the IWF World Weightlifting Championships, and Rhys “Rachel” McKinnon won two world titles in cycling and broke the women’s world record for the 200-meter time trial for the age 34-39 category. Rapinoe and her teammates should already be acutely aware that males are physically advantaged in sports: The U.S. women’s national team lost a game against teenage boys.

Rapinoe’s advocacy is perplexing. She has appointed herself moral referee to determine when discrimination against women is real. She is unwilling to advocate for the women whose championship titles were claimed by men, but she previously insisted that everyone be enraged when members of the U.S. women’s soccer team were (allegedly) paid less than their male counterparts. Twenty-eight players filed an equal-pay lawsuit; a federal judge dismissed it, concluding that the female players “received more money than [male] players on both a cumulative and an average per-game basis . . . payments to the [female athletes] totaled approximately $24 million and averaged $220,747 per game, whereas payments to the [male players] totaled approximately $18 million and averaged $212,639 per game.” Nevertheless, Rapinoe hailed her teammates as heroes in the fight for equality.

Rapinoe celebrates the 50th anniversary of Title IX because it allowed her to play soccer in college and earn a scholarship. She praises Title IX as a “transformational piece of legislation” which enabled “multiple generations of women . . . to have these opportunities and break out of the extremely restrictive roles that we had been assigned to for so long.” Yet Rapinoe condemns the current efforts to ensure that women’s sports are women’s sports. According to her, ensuring the integrity of women’s sports is “cruel” and “just disgusting.” She asserts that people “need to understand that sports is not the most important thing in life.” She sneers, “I’m sorry, your kid’s high school volleyball team just isn’t that important.”Even within the Time interview, Rapinoe switches positions — perhaps a skill she learned on the field. After explaining why we should be completely apathetic towards men competing in women’s sports, Rapinoe establishes trans inclusion as a crucial policy with life-saving results. Rapinoe argues that trans people are “committing suicide, because they are being told that they’re gross and different and evil and sinful and they can’t play sports with their friends that they grew up with.” She laments that “kids’ lives are at risk with the rates of suicide, the rates of depression and negative mental health and drug abuse.”

Rapinoe contradicts herself: Somehow, sports are “not the most important thing in life” but are also the most important avenue for saving a life. If, as Rapinoe claims, the “high school volleyball team just isn’t that important,” then why would a male commit suicide if he isn’t featured on the female roster?

Rapinoe weaponizes mental health to advocate for “trans inclusion in sports.” Unfortunately, there is no concern for the mental health of female athletes who are being deprived of opportunities and awards. I imagine that a teenage girl who spent years training relentlessly for a national title would be at least depressed after watching a male seize the first-place trophy in the female division.

Rapinoe demands extreme reform, which would redefine sports: “We need to start from inclusion, period.” Sports aren’t about inclusion; sports are about differentiation. The purpose of competitive athletics is to distinguish the individuals who best execute a specific range of skills that must be developed by rigorous training. The podium excludes most competitors.

There is no reasoning that justifies the doctrine of absolute inclusivity — with respect to sports or any other domain. Voluntarily self-excluding from one sex does not entail automatic inclusion and acceptance in the other; seceding from male spaces does not grant rights to female spaces.

We know that facts don’t care about your feelings; sports don’t care about your feelings, either. Feeling like a national champion doesn’t make you a national champion. A man cannot announce that he is a woman to compete on a different team, just as I cannot announce I am Rapinoe’s teammate to receive an Olympic gold medal.

Rapinoe’s advice to young girls pursuing an athletic career? “Get a grip on reality and take a step back.” Following this guidance, female athletes will take a step back — and off the podiums, to accommodate their male counterparts.



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