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40 pro athletes sign open letter opposing trans sports ban – here’s the full list of signees

The open letter has been signed by LGBTQ+ stars like Megan Rapinoe, Sue Bird, Chris Mosier, Devin Ibanez and CeCe Telfer.

By Emily Maskell

Megan Rapinoe, Devin Ibanez, and CeCe Telfer sign the open letter.
Megan Rapinoe, Devin Ibanez, and CeCe Telfer sign the open letter. (Image: WikiCommons, Attitude, Instagram/@cecetelfer)

A number of professional athletes have signed a letter opposing the ban of trans women and girls from women’s sports.

The ‘Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act of 2023’ (HR734) was introduced by Florida Republican Gregory Steube.

The bill calls for a federal ban on transgender girls and women from participating in sports “for women and girls.”

The open letter was organised by Athlete Ally and signed by 40 athletes in total.

Additionally, it has been signed by LGBTQ+ stars like Megan Rapinoe, Sue Bird, Chris Mosier, Devin Ibanez and CeCe Telfer.

The letter declares that “every single child should have access to the lifesaving power of sports.” 

“Transgender and intersex human rights are under attack,” it continues. “If this bill passes, transgender and intersex girls and women throughout the country will be forced to sit on the sidelines.”

Furthermore, they outline that policing who can and cannot play school sports will deter cisgender girls also from participating.

Athlete Ally also notes these additional barriers will deny children access to “significant mental and physical health benefits.”

Ultimately, they outline this bill “does not protect women in sports.”

They encourage lawmakers to give their attention to policies that would actually advance equality. The signees cite “equal pay, an end to abuse and mistreatment… and a lack of access and equity for girls of colour and girls with disabilities.”

They also add: “Our deepest hope is that transgender and intersex kids will never have to feel the isolation, exclusion and othering that H.R. 734 is seeking to enshrine into law.”

“This moment we’re in is truly a crisis for transgender young people.”

The fight against the trans ban in sports has been ongoing. Then, just last month, World Athletics announced a ban on trans women competing in elite female competitions.

According to the Human Rights Campaign, “more than 190 of the anti-LGBTQ+ bills in 2023 would specifically restrict the rights of transgender people.”

Kelley Robinson, President of the Human Rights Campaign, also shared: “Discriminating against transgender athletes is wrong and a violation of federal law.

“Every student deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. This includes transgender girls of all ages and in all sports, without exception.”

Robinson furthermore added: “This moment we’re in is truly a crisis for transgender young people – and we’re calling on elected leaders at every level of government to fight harder for our kids.”

The full list of signees is as follows:

Abby Dunkin, Paralympic Gold medalist, Wheelchair Basketball, Team USA

Alison Desir, Founder, Harlem Run and Co-Chair, Running Industry Diversity Coalition

Angela Hucles, Former Professional and Olympic Soccer Player, Team USA/NWSL; Former President of the Women’s Sports Foundation

Becky Sauerbrunn, Olympic Gold Medalist, Soccer, Team USA/NWSL 

Bella Bixby, Professional Soccer Player, NWSL

Brad Stuver, Professional Soccer Player, MLS

Caitlin Cosme, Professional Soccer Player, NWSL

Carly Nelson, Professional Soccer Player, NWSL

Carrie Sheinberg, Former Olympic Alpine Skier, Team USA

CeCe Telfer, NCAA National Champion

Celia Jiménez, Professional Soccer Player, NWSL and Spanish National Team

Chris Mosier, Triathlete & Duathlete, 6-time Team USA and Founder of TransAthlete.Com

Devin Ibanez, Professional Rugby Player, Major League Rugby 

Emily Menges, Professional Soccer Player, NWSL

Erika Lawler, Olympic Ice Hockey Player, Team USA

Esther Lofgren, Olympic Rower, Team USA

Grete Eliassen, Professional Freestyle Skier

Gwen Berry, Olympic Track and Field athlete, Team USA

Imani Dorsey, Professional Soccer Player, NWSL

JayCee Cooper, Powerlifter

Jessica Mendoza, Former Olympic Softball Player, Team USA

Johnny Stanton, Professional Football Player, NFL

Kaiya McCullough, Former Professional Soccer Player, NWSL

Kaylie Collins, Professional Soccer Player, NWSL

Kendall Chase, Olympic Rower, Team USA

Layshia Clarendon, Professional Basketball Player, WNBA

Lori Lindsey, Former Olympic and Professional Soccer Player, Team USA/NWSL

Madison Packer, Professional Ice Hockey Player, Premier Hockey Federation

Meaghan Nally, Professional Soccer Player, NWSL

Megan Rapinoe, Olympic and Professional Soccer Player, Team USA/NWSL

Meghan Duggan, Former Olympic Ice Hockey Player, Team USA

Meghan Klingenberg, Olympic and Professional Soccer Player, Team USA/NWSL

Meghan O’Leary, Olympic Rower, Team USA

Mikey Lopez, Professional Soccer Player, USL Championship

Naya Tapper, Olympic Rugby Player, Team USA

Pam Boteler, Former Team USA Sprint Canoeist

Patricio Manuel, Professional Boxer

Sophia Herzog-Gibb, Paralympic Swimmer, Team USA

Sue Bird, Olympic and Professional Basketball Player, Team USA/WNBA

Tziarra King, Professional Soccer Player, NWSL