The president’s oldest son and namesake has returned to a favorite topic in his new book: attacking trans athletes.
Amid tweeting out the identity of the alleged whistleblower in his father’s impeachment investigation, Donald Trump Jr.’s book, Triggered: How the Left Thrives on Hate and Wants to Silence Us, hit stores Tuesday. True to its title, the 41-year-old takes aim at what he views as the liberal attack on free speech and political correctness run rampant — the latter of which includes allowing transgender athletes to compete in accordance with their lived gender.
“When we allow mediocre men to compete in women’s sports, we do a disservice to all the hardworking young women who have fought to get to where they are,” he claims.
However, the First Son says that trans inclusion in sports is about more than “just our sense of fairness and [the] lost scholarships [that are] on the line.” Citing the example of “contact sports,” he claims, “This is where it becomes a safety issue.”
To illustrate his point, Trump Jr. singles out retired MMA fighter Fallon Fox, who came out as transgender in 2013. Repeatedly misgendering Fox, he claims that she transitioned not because she was truly transgender but because she wanted to exploit trans inclusion to gain a competitive advantage in the sport.
“This wasn’t just a man who wanted to run races in lanes next to women,” he says. “This was a man who was losing bouts to other men, so he decided he wanted to beat up women instead.”
Trump Jr. cited Fox’s 2014 bout against Tamikka Brents, which ended in her opponent sustaining a broken orbital bone and a concussion. Brents needed seven staples to the head after the fight concluded, and at the time, she suggested that the loss was due to the fact that Fox is transgender. In a tweet, she claimed that she’s “fought a lot of women and have never felt the strength that I felt in a fight as I did that night.”
Recapping the incident, Trump Jr. says Fox “used his [sic] big hands to beat Brents into an early technical knockout.” He writes, “There is no universe in which that should be acceptable, nor is there anyone who can argue that it was a fair fight!”
Although anti-trans critics, including fellow MMA fighter Matt Mitrione, referred to Fox as an “embarrassment” and a “lying, sick, sociopathic, disgusting freak,” experts denied that being transgender gave Fox an advantage in the competition. Eric Vilain, the director of the Institute For Society And Genetics at UCLA, told Time magazine that trans women “have significantly less muscle strength and bone density, and higher fat mass” as a result of transitioning.
In order to compete as a woman in the MMA, Vilain added Fox had to show that “surgical anatomical changes have been completed, including external genitalia and gonadectomy” and undergo hormone therapy for two years.
And in a recent profile of Fox, Outsports Editor-in-Chief Cyd Zeigler argued that the athlete was subjected to a discriminatory double standard when it came to discussing her accomplishments in the league, where she finished with a 5-1 record before retirement. “[W]hen other female MMA fighters leave their opponents with concussions or broken bones, they are celebrated,” he said.
But despite again slipping into harmful, debunked tropes about trans women athletes — following similar criticisms of trans cyclist Rachel McKinnon — Trump Jr. claims there’s nothing prejudicial about his views.
“Now, before the liberal elite go screaming murder, let me reiterate: I don’t care what outfit you wear or whether you choose to identify as gay, lesbian, or trans,” he says. “What I care about is redefining fair practices, such as allowing men to compete as women in sports.”
But if Trump Jr. has no problem with trans people as a whole, he has a pretty funny way of showing it. He has mocked parents who allow their children to determine their gender for themselves, came out in defense of Mario Lopez calling trans children a “weird trend,” shared transphobic memes on Twitter, and liked an anti-trans tweet targeting whistleblower Chelsea Manning.
Earlier this week, Trump Jr. went on CBS This Morning to promote his book by spouting anti-trans talking points but was cut off by the hosts several times.