Trump dragged for suggesting LeBron James could get sex change to compete against women

‘Somebody said that if LeBron James ever decided to get the operation, how would he be on the court?’ the former president mused

Nathan Place
New York
Sunday 25 July 2021 16:55
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Trump makes bizarre LeBron James sex change joke

At his latest political rally, Donald Trump regaled his audience with a bizarre hypothetical about women’s basketball, taking a potshot at NBA star LeBron James in the process.

“If I were a coach, I’ll tell you, I wouldn’t be talking to too many women as we know women. I’d be getting some of these people that, ‘they’re women,’” the former president told a giggling crowd on Saturday in Phoenix, Arizona.

Then he drew Mr James into the fantasy.

“Somebody said that if LeBron James ever decided to get the operation, how would he be on the court?”

Mr James, it should be noted, identifies as male. He has never publicly expressed any intention to transition to another gender.

At this point the crowd began booing, likely because of Mr Trump’s long feud with the basketball player. In the past, Mr James has called the Republican leader a “bum”, while Mr Trump has called the athlete “nasty” and a “hater”.

“And by the way, LeBron James – you can have him,” Mr Trump told the crowd, which began cheering.

On Twitter, Mr Trump’s humour didn’t play as well.

“Who even thinks like that?!” one user asked below a video of the comments. “He is so beyond the pale.”

“What is repulsive to me is all those people cheering these comments,” another wrote. “There is no excuse for such ugliness.”

In recent years, some Republican politicians have pounced on the issue of trans athletes, arguing that, as US Rep Marjorie Taylor Greene once put it, “biological women cannot compete against biological men”.

Women’s sports groups have disputed this conception.

“The idea that allowing girls who are transgender to compete in girls’ sports leads to male domination of female sports is based on a flawed understanding of what it means to be transgender and a misrepresentation of nondiscrimination laws,” several sports organizations, including the Women’s Sports Foundation and the Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport, wrote in a letter supporting the Equality Act in 2019. “Transgender girls are girls and transgender women are women.”

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