Megan Rapinoe plans to retire, but she is not going out quietly.
U.S. women’s soccer icon Megan Rapinoe has been a public advocate for the inclusion of transgender athletes in women’s sports, so just ahead of her final World Cup before she heads off into the sunset, the one-time Golden Boot winner said she would “absolutely” support having a trans woman on the USWNT roster.
“‘You’re taking a “real” woman’s place,’ that’s the part of the argument that’s still extremely transphobic,” Rapinoe told Gregory. “I see trans women as real women. What you’re saying automatically in the argument—you’re sort of telling on yourself already—is you don’t believe these people are women. Therefore, they’re taking the other spot. I don’t feel that way.”
“We as a country are trying to legislate away people’s full humanity,” she told Time.
Rapinoe was one of 40 professional athletes to co-sign a letter to House lawmakers earlier this year in opposition to the Protection of Girls and Women in Sports Act, arguing that the bill would exclude women and girls from getting “mental and physical health benefits.”
“It’s particularly frustrating when women’s sports is weaponized,” Rapinoe said in the interview. “Oh, now we care about fairness? Now we care about women’s sports? That’s total bulls—. And show me all the trans people who are nefariously taking advantage of being trans in sports. It’s just not happening.”
Rapinoe will make her final World Cup appearance this month as the United States Women’s National Team heads to Australia and New Zealand with the hopes of making history as the first women’s or men’s team to win a three-peat.
It was over the weekend when the 38-year-old soccer star announced her plans to retire at the conclusion of the 2023 National Women’s Soccer League season.
An Olympic gold medalist and two-time World Cup champion, Rapinoe will compete in her fourth and final World Cup beginning on July 20.