‘Women’s Sports, as We Know It, Will Die’: Trump Criticizes Policy on Transgender Athletes

March 1, 2021 Updated: March 1, 2021

Former President Donald Trump said the White House’s policy to bolster transgender athletes in women’s sports will destroy “women’s sports as we know it.”

In a speech during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Sunday evening, Trump said the policy will allow “biological males” to compete against women.

“Joe Biden and the Democrats are even pushing policies that would destroy women’s sports. A lot of new records are being broken in women’s sports. Hate to say that, ladies, but [they] got a lot of new records. They’re being shattered,” Trump began. “You know, for years, the weight lifting, every ounce is like a big deal for many years—all of a sudden somebody comes along and beats it by 100 pounds.”

Some female athletes in recent days stipulated that athletes who were born biologically male have an unfair advantage in women’s sports, arguing that males have significant physical advantages over women.

Trump added that records in women’s sports have been broken by biologically male athletes.

The Biden administration has expressed its support for the Equality Act and also pledged to sign the measure within the first 100 days of his time in office. It passed the House on Feb. 25 and allows for protection from discrimination for transgender people in sports. The bill seeks to classify “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” as protected classes under federal law while expanding protections for LGBTQ individuals in public spaces and services.

“If this does not change, women’s sports, as we know it, will die, they’ll end … if I’m a coach, you know, I want to be a great coach,” Trump stated. “What coach, as an example, wants to recruit a young woman to compete if her record can easily be broken by somebody who was born a man? Not too many of those coaches around, right? … We must protect the integrity of women’s sports. So important. Have to.”

Student-athlete Linnea Saltz, who competes in U.S. intercollegiate athletics known as NCAA Division I, also spoke at CPAC, saying that “people don’t realize that by being inclusive, in that sense, it is exclusionary to people like myself.”

“And so we don’t want men’s and co-ed sports, we want men’s and women’s sports. And that’s why there is the separation of sex within sports as well,” said Saltz.

Some state legislatures, including in South Dakota and Utah, have passed measures that would block transgender athletes from competing in women’s sports.

Janita Kan contributed to this report.