Donald Trump says LeBron James should play basketball as a woman in pathetic dig at trans athletes
Former US president Donald Trump suggested that LeBron James could play basketball as a woman during a bizarre speech in Tampa, Florida, on Saturday (23 July).
He told the crowd that he would “like to have you [James] on my team” if he was coaching a basketball team for the women’s basketball league (WNBA), despite Trump not owning, managing or coaching a WNBA team himself.
Speaking at a summit for Turning Point USA, a non-profit that advocates for “right-wing values” in education, Trump said: “If I were a basketball coach of the women’s team, I would be the greatest coach of all time.
“I’m not a fan of LeBron James at all… I don’t like him, but I’d say ‘LeBron, did you ever think of becoming a woman? Did you ever consider, because I’d like to have you on my team. I’d love to have you on our team, LeBron. But think of it, it’s so crazy what’s happening.”
Trump has previously made similar comments about James playing for a WNBA team, despite him never publicly expressing that he is trans.
In a speech in 2021, he claimed that he would only recruit trans athletes if he was coaching a women’s team due to their so-called “advantage”.
He added: “Somebody said that if LeBron James ever decided to get the operation, how would he be on the court?”
“LeBron, have you ever thought about becoming a woman?” 😂
– Donald Trump if he owned a WNBA team pic.twitter.com/zxj4DoLKS3
— Jon Root (@JonnyRoot_) July 24, 2022
Trump made further anti-trans comments at the Turning Point USA summit, at which his son Donald Trump Jr also spoke, claiming that at schools “you can’t teach the Bible but you can teach children that America is evil and that men can get pregnant”.
He added: “You would not trust these people to babysit your children for 20 minutes, why should we then let them educate millions of American students?”
Turning Point USA tweeted that Trump also said during his speech: “We believe in two genders. There are men and there are women.”
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Trump is not a stranger to attacking trans rights, with the former president claiming teachers should not be allowed to “teach transgender” in a speech in May.
“We will defend parents’ rights,” he told the crowd at a rally in Wyoming.
“No teacher should ever be allowed to teach transgender to our children without parental consent. Can you imagine?”
His comments seemed to reference Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill, signed into law in March, which effectively bans discussion of LGBTQ+ identity, or LGBTQ+ education, in classrooms.