WNBA and USWNT stars joined a group of professional, Olympic and Paralympic athletes in an open letter opposing the Republican-led legislation.
Sports couple Sui Bird and Megan Rapinoe are among 40 female athletes who signed an open letter to Congress on Tuesday opposing anti-sexist legislation they say does not benefit women.
Byrd, 42, and Rapinoe, 37, have joined professional athletes and Olympic and Paralympic athletes in expressing concern over a House Republican bill that would bar transgender athletes from competing in gender-appropriate school sports leagues.
The controversial Women and Girls in Sports Protection Act of 2023 was introduced by Republicans in February and has been the subject of debate among lawmakers and athletes. The law, in general, makes it a violation of Title IX for schools to allow transgender women to compete in women’s sports.
According to Sports Illustrated, if the bill passes Congress, it will become part of the existing Title IX law.
Related: Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird’s Relationship Timeline
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“We believe that gender equality in sports is very important, so we ask that female athletes focus on the causes that they have been fighting for for decades, such as equal pay, ending harassment and exploitation, the inequality of Article IX and the lack of access and fairness.” Gender Transgender and Sexuality It is our hope that children who commit will never experience the stigma and segregation that HR 734 seeks to end,” the letter, posted via Athlete Ally, reads.
“If this law is passed, girls and women across the country will be forced to sit on the sidelines, away from their peers and society,” the letter said.
“Furthermore, policing who cannot or cannot play sports in school may result in physical surveillance of all girls, including transgender girls,” the letter added. This discourages girls from playing sports and creates additional barriers.
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Other signatories to the letter include USWNT captain Becky Sauerbrunn, former USWNT linebacker Laurie Lindsay and boxer Patricio Manuel, the first person in American history to compete professionally in the sport.
Lindsey, 43, and several other athletes signed the letter on Twitter, writing, “I am proud to sign this open letter in support of youth and transgender youth and against HR734.” “Every child deserves the right to play the sport they love.”
Rapinoe spoke out against the bill last month, saying “Washington politicians are protecting women’s sports by banning transgender and intersex sports.” “Equality of pay must protect against sexual exploitation and poverty.”
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