Former United States President Donald Trump had some critical comments during a rally on Tuesday about the controversial practice of allowing trans women to compete in women’s sports, using a bizarre hypothetical situation to make his point.
"I'd be the greatest women's basketball coach in history. I don't like LeBron James, I like Michael Jordan much better. But, I'd go up to LeBron James…I'd say, 'LeBron, did you ever have any desire to be a woman? Because what I'd love you to do is star on my team." pic.twitter.com/xU5lt6hPeH
— CSPAN (@cspan) July 26, 2022
“I’d be the greatest women’s basketball coach in history,” Trump said, via CSPAN. “I don’t like LeBron James, I like Michael Jordan much better. But, I’d go up to LeBron James. I’d say, ‘LeBron, did you ever have any desire to be a woman? Because what I’d love for you to do is star on my team that I’m building up. I will have the greatest team in history. They will never lose. Nobody will come within 70 points of this team.”
While the analogy also brings to light Trump’s opinion in the LeBron James vs. Michael Jordan debate, his real purpose was to suggest that he would like to see a change prohibiting trans women from competing in women’s athletics.
“We have to change that,” Trump said. “And we have to make it OK to talk about it.”
Earlier this year, University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas made headlines when she became the first transgender athlete to win a national championship on the Division I level. Despite winning the national title, Thomas says she did not transition for the sake of having a competitive advantage.
“The biggest misconception, I think, is the reason I transitioned,” Thomas said in an interview with ABC and ESPN. “People will say, ‘Oh, she just transitioned so she would have an advantage, so she could win.’ I transitioned to be happy, to be true to myself.”