Soccer player Megan Rapinoe didn’t mince words on Dave Chappelle in her new TIME profile. The 38-year-old, who’s a member of Seattle’s OL Reign along with the United States national team, expressed that she took issue with Chappelle for jokes that he’s made about transgender people. Rapinoe also gave a firm stance against retired tennis player Martina Navratilova and ESPN anchor Sage Steele for their opposition towards transgender women playing in women’s sports.
“I don’t want to mince words about it,” Rapinoe said. “Dave Chappelle making jokes about trans people directly leads to violence, whether it’s verbal or otherwise, against trans people. 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.’”
Rapinoe continued with thoughts on policies that target trans women. Rapinoe is also an LGBTQIA+ activist, having been in a relationship with former WNBA player Sue Bird since 2017.
“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 b*******. And show me all the trans people who are nefariously taking advantage of being trans in sports. It’s just not happening.”
Chappelle first tackled transgenderism in his controversial 2021 Netflix special The Closer. Backlash over the special followed, as some Netflix employees staged a trans solidarity walkout, and a few of Chappelle’s onstage shows were also canceled. Chappelle has remained unbothered, recently throwing comedy shows in Yellow Springs at the Wirrig Pavillion.
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