Donald Trump has gone on a bizarre, offensive rant about trans inclusion in sports, Laurel Hubbard and LeBron James during his latest political rally.
Trump spoke in Phoenix, Arizona Saturday (24 July), flexing his grip of the Republican party amid ongoing speculation that he’ll run for president again in 2024.
As well as repeating his baseless electoral fraud conspiracies, the former president took aim at Olympic weightlifter Laurel Hubbard and trans athletes more generally.
He asked the crowd what they thought of “men” being “allowed to compete in women’s sports” before alluding to Hubbard.
“Did you see the weightlifter?” Trump asked. “I hate to tell you this, women, but [she] shattered your long-standing record.”
Trump then claimed it was “so unfair” that Hubbard is allowed to compete.
He also claimed that, if he was the coach of a female sports team, he would only recruit transgender athletes.
“If I were a coach, I’ll tell you, I wouldn’t be talking to too many women as we know women,” Trump said.
He continued: “Somebody said that if LeBron James ever decided to get the operation, how would he be on the court?”
Trump says if he was coaching women’s sports, he would only recruit trans athletes, then speculates on Lebron James transitioning and playing women’s basketball. pic.twitter.com/Z7Wl0Vq3Fc
— Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) July 25, 2021
This is not the first time that Trump has targeted Lebron James. The NBA superstar. James called Trump a “bum” in 2017 after the then-president made comments about fellow player Steph Curry. In 2020, Trump called Lebron “nasty” and a “hater” during an interview with conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh.
Olympic committee backs Laurel Hubbard
Laurel Hubbard is set to become one of the first trans athletes to compete at the Olympics, following Canadian soccer player Quinn, who made her Tokyo debut last week.
Hubbard, who will represent team New Zealand in the women’s super-heavyweight competition, has been repeatedly dogged by transphobic criticism, and some have called for her to be disqualified.
Laurel Hubbard. (Scott Barbour/Getty)
But the International Olympic Committee has continuously rejected such calls.
The committee has stated that Hubbard was selected for participation with strict rules in place, and “you cannot change rules during ongoing competitions”.
Team GB weightlifter Emily Campbell has spoken out in support of Hubbard, who is her Olympic rival, and welcomed her competition in the games. The 27-year-old said she is looking forward to the extra attention given to weightlifting this year with Hubbard competing, saying she’s looking at it “in a positive way”.
“We’ve fought for so long for people to enjoy weightlifting, and now you’re going to get some light on the sport,” Campbell told The Mirror.