American professional footballer, Becky Sauerbrunn, has come out in defence of trans athletes, criticising the proposed ‘Save Women’s Sports Act’ for lacking support for female athletes as more sports take action to restrict or exclude those who aren’t cis.
Becky Sauerbrunn is a veteran of the United States Women’s National Soccer Team (USWNT) and has won numerous awards and accolades, including multiple NWSL Defender of the Year awards and a FIFA Women’s World Cup championship.
A key player for both club and country considered one of the best defenders in the world, Sauerbrunn’s voice is a welcome addition to a ‘debate’ that has all too often relied on transphobes making decisions based on their unfounded fears.
Her comments were unambiguous, criticising the proposed ‘Save Women’s Sports Act’ as it fails to address real issues faced by women in sports, such as sexual assault and harassment, Title IX compliance, and equal pay.
She also added that the act may discourage girls from participating in sports and depriving them of its benefits.
“The proposed ‘Save Women’s Sports Act’ does nothing to protect or support girls and women in sports,” Sauerbrunn wrote in the Springfield News-Leader.
“If those putting forth this legislation actually listened to the needs and concerns of women in sports, they would outline clear steps to protect women and girls from the rampant sexual assault and harassment plaguing sports — issues we’ve been fighting in the NWSL.
“They would clarify what’s being done to ensure all institutions in Missouri are Title IX compliant.
“They would outline a plan to promote equal pay for women athletes. They would ensure young women and girls have equitable resources in sport, especially young women and girls of colour.
“Instead, they’re pushing kids away from the life-changing power of sports, forever depriving them of the invaluable lessons sport teaches, and the best friends they would find on their teams.
“I have been championing gender equity in sport for a long time, and I am done seeing transgender youth being cruelly targeted to score political points.
“Transgender people are exactly that, people — not tools to be wielded in a climb up the political ladder.
“I’m not alone ― hundreds of other elite women athletes from Billie Jean King to Candace Parker have consistently expressed loud opposition to bills almost identical to the ones being heard in the Missouri Senate.
“Thousands of college athletes have signed letters supporting transgender athletes and against discriminatory bills like these.”