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Transgender cyclist swamped with death threats after Donald Trump Jr ‘Twitter tantrum’

Nick Duffy December 6, 2019
Canadian cyclist Rachel McKinnon celebrates her gold medal on the podium for the F35-39 Sprint discipline of the UCI Masters Track Cycling World Championships

Canadian cyclist Rachel McKinnon celebrates her gold medal on the podium for the F35-39 Sprint discipline of the UCI Masters Track Cycling World Championships (OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

Transgender cyclist Rachel McKinnon has said she is facing death threats and abuse online after being targeted by Donald Trump Jr.

McKinnon, an athlete and philosophy professor, was targeted by the president’s son in October after picking up a gold medal in a women’s event at the U.C.I. Masters Track Cycling World Championships.

Trump Jr – who is not known for his athleticism, academic accomplishment, business acumen or sense of personal decency –  had shared articles from anti-LGBT+ conservative outlets referring to McKinnon as a “biological male”.

He tweeted: “This BS will destroy women’s sports and everything so many amazing female athletes have worked their entire lives to achieve. I couldn’t care less how you identify, but this isn’t right.”

Rachel McKinnon faced death threats after ‘tantrum’ from Donald Trump Jr.

Writing in The New York Times, McKinnon revealed that she had faced abuse and death threats after Trump Jr’s comments.

She explained: “Soon after my win, Donald Trump Jr threw a Twitter tantrum about me. I’ve seen a huge uptick in the volume of hate mail I’ve received in the weeks since.

“I have four people who monitor my Instagram to delete hateful messages; they’ve been overwhelmed by the volume. Twitter is far worse. I’ve received death threats, but I try not to dwell on them.”

Canadian cyclist Rachel McKinnon was targeted by Donald Trump Jr.
Canadian cyclist Rachel McKinnon poses for a photograph before competing against the USA’s Dawn Orwick in their F35-39 Sprint Final during the 2019 UCI Track Cycling World Masters Championship, in Manchester on October 19, 2019. (OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

Responding to critics, she pointed out: “Many want me to race against men. I have news for them: I’m not allowed.

“I’m legally female. My birth certificate, passport, driver’s license, U.S. permanent resident card, medical records and my racing license all have an ‘F’ on them.

“The Union Cycliste Internationale, USACycling, Cycling Canada, the Canadian and United States governments and the state of South Carolina all agree that I’m female.

“The rules require me to race in the women’s category. That’s exactly where I belong: I am a woman, after all. I am female as well.”

Rachel McKinnon denies having an ‘unfair advantage’.

She added: “If you think I have an unfair competitive advantage, consider this: I lose most of my races. I won five out of 22 events in 2019; none of those I won were against strong international fields.

“The woman who took second place to me in the masters world championship sprint event, Dawn Orwick, beat me just days earlier in the 500-meter time trial.

“In the 12 times I’ve raced against Jennifer Wagner, who finished third to my first place in the sprint event in 2018, she beat me in seven. Wagner has beaten me more times than I’ve beaten her, head-to-head.

“How can I have an unfair advantage over her if she beats me most of the time? And why should my right to compete be contingent on not winning?”

More: Donald Trump Jr, rachel mckinnon, transphobia

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