‘Dave Chappelle Making Jokes About Trans People Directly Leads to Violence,’ Says Soccer Star Megan Rapinoe

Ahead of the Women's World Cup, the U.S. Team star defended her stance on trans women in sports
‘Dave Chappelle Making Jokes About Trans People Directly Leads to Violence,’ Says Soccer Star Megan Rapinoe

The controversy concerning Dave Chappelle and his criticisms of the transgender community isn’t going anywhere — not if the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team has anything to say about it.

It’s a common occurrence in the ongoing discussion surrounding the rights and restrictions of transgender people for a man who has never once willingly watched women’s athletics to invoke the interests of cisgender female athletes when arguing against the inclusion of trans ones. Leading up to the start of the FIFA Women’s World Cup next week, Megan Rapinoe, star of the favorited U.S. team and winner of the Ballon d'Or Féminin, spoke to Time about her frustration with fake advocates who make attacks on trans individuals while lazily veiling their bigotry by calling it a defense of women, and, specifically, women athletes. Specifically, Rapinoe called out one of the many male comedians who, very recently, began to identify as a “feminist” solely to validate his hostility towards the trans community. 

“I don’t want to mince words about it,” Rapinoe told Time. “Dave Chappelle making jokes about trans people directly leads to violence, whether it’s verbal or otherwise, against trans people.”

Along with Chappelle, Rapinoe heavily criticized tennis great Martina Navratilova and ESPN anchor Sage Steele, both of whom have strongly opposed the inclusion of transgender athletes in women’s competition. “When Martina or Sage or whoever are talking about this, people aren’t hearing it just in the context of elite sports. They’re saying, ‘The rest of my life, this is how I’m going to treat trans people.’

“It’s particularly frustrating when women’s sports is weaponized,” Rapinoe said. “Oh, now we care about fairness? Now we care about women’s sports? That’s total bullsh—t. And show me all the trans people who are nefariously taking advantage of being trans in sports. It’s just not happening.”


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