In his first major public speech since inciting an insurrection at the nation’s capital and being impeached for a historic second time, former President Donald Trump spent a significant amount of time stoking his base and attacking teenage transgender athletes.
In the long and rambling diatribe given at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Feb. 28 in Orlando, Florida, Trump claimed that transgender individuals were out to “destroy women’s sports.”
Reporter Graeme Massie of The Independent writes that “the ex-president called transgender women athletes ‘biological males’ and complained that records in women’s sports were being ‘smashed’ by transgender competitors.”
“A lot of new records are being broken in women’s sports, I hate to say that ladies, but you have got a lot of new records that are being shattered,” he said. “Young girls and women are incensed that they are now being forced to compete against those who are biological males. That is not good for women.”
As CPAC attendees cheered him on, Trump continued: “The records that stood for years and decades are now being smashed with ease, smashed. If this is not changed, women’s sports as we know it will die and end. I think it’s crazy what is happening, we must protect the integrity of women’s sports … Is that controversial? Someone said, ‘well that’s going to be very controversial’ and I said that’s OK – you have not heard anything yet.”
This ongoing and vicious Republican attack on transgender rights and inclusion has been going on for much of 2021, with state legislatures in numerous states across the country enacting new restrictive laws that limit rights — many of which are a direct response to President Biden’s promise to support transgender protections when he was first sworn into office.
In addressing this continuing and coordinated attack on transgender individuals from Trump and state Republicans alike, the ACLU put it bluntly: “Just like it was never about restrooms, today’s fight is not about sports. It’s about erasing and excluding trans people from participation in all aspects of public life. It’s about creating ‘solutions’ to ‘problems’ that don’t exist and, in the process, harming some of the most vulnerable young people in the country.”