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Megan Rapinoe Directly Blames Dave Chappelle For Violence Against Trans People In Blistering Interview

The soccer star called out the comedian in an interview with 'TIME' magazine about how his anti-trans jokes have led to real violence.

Megan Rapinoe; Dave Chappelle
Fiona Goodall - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images; Shannon Finney/Getty Images

Megan Rapinoe has always been outspoken and relentless when it comes to advocating for LGBTQ+ rights, and in a recent interview with TIME, the soccer legend called out those who she believes is responsible for violence against trans people.

While speaking about the controversy over trans kids competing in sports, Rapinoe said:

“The most amazing thing about sports is that you play and you’re playing with other people, and you’re having fun and you’re being physically active."
“We’re putting this all through the lens of competition and winning. But we’re talking about people’s lives. That’s where we have to start.”

But just as she noted that participating in sports extends beyond just competition and winning, she explained that people's transphobic views about inclusion in sports also bleed beyond the field.

And she specifically called out Dave Chappelle, Martina Navratilova and Sage Steele for spreading their exclusionary rhetoric which "directly leads to violence... against trans people."

“I don’t want to mince words about it."
“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.’”

Chappelle's 2021 Netflix special The Closer was riddled with transphobic jokes and slurs about women, and in it he also declared he was joining outspoken transphobe JK Rowling on "Team TERF" (trans-exclusionary radical feminist).

Rapinoe continued, pointing out the hypocrisy in people's concern over the inclusion of trans people in sports.

“It’s particularly frustrating when women’s sports is weaponized."
“Oh, now we care about fairness? Now we care about women’s sports?"
"That’s total bullsh*t. And show me all the trans people who are nefariously taking advantage of being trans in sports."
"It’s just not happening.”

She added:

“You’re taking a ‘real’ woman’s place,’ that’s the part of the argument that’s still extremely transphobic. I see trans women as real women.”

Some people on social media didn't share Rapinoe's view that Chappelle is to blame.

But several do agree with her, noting that an influencer such as Chappelle spewing hate on such a large platform absolutely plays a part in violence, both verbally and physically, against trans people.

Ahead of her fourth World Cup, Rapinoe announced she would retire from the USWNT at the end of this season, but she definitely won't quit fighting.