Soccer stars and real life couple Ali Krieger and Ashlyn Harris say they are disappointed by Caitlyn Jenner’s recent remarks that transgender girls shouldn’t be allowed to compete in girls’ sports.
“I was taken aback by that because I feel like every kid, including trans kids, should have the opportunity to play the sport they love to play,” Krieger told Variety while promoting her and Harris’ Mother Days campaign with Hertz. “And because they want to learn the important life lessons that sport teaches you and gives you and be surrounded by other young kids and to feel like they belong — that is the ultimate goal for our youth, is to feel like they belong, to love what they do and have fun. To have that opportunity is key. No matter if you’re trans or part of the LGBTQ community or queer or anything, you should be allowed to play.”
Jenner, who is running as a Republican candidate for California governor, told TMZ earlier this month that she doesn’t support trans girls competing in all-female sports in schools. “It just isn’t fair,” she said. “And we have to protect girls’ sports in our schools.”
LGBTQ activists were quick to condemn the former “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” star, an Olympic gold medalist who came out as trans in 2015.
“When you think about sports in general, it is literally to connect and unite us to create a safe space,” Harris said. “That is what sport is about. We can’t be segregating or making these laws where trans youth can’t be a part of things. I’m disappointed. I’m disappointed in the state we live in, Florida, for continuing to come up with these laws to just separate this community. I’m just disappointed. We still have a lot of work to do.”
Krieger and Harris, who married in December 2019 and play for the Orlando Pride, will celebrate their first Mother’s Day as new moms following their adoption of baby daughter Sloane Phillips. “To be a gay couple and to have this much visibility, I just wish I had all of this when I was a kid and I was trying to figure out all the things,” Harris said.
The significance of having a company like Hertz supporting the LGBTQ community isn’t lost on Krieger and Harris. “For them to be in our corner for our first Mother’s Day and to celebrate us in such a special way wrapping the car (see photo of above), the whole thing is so cool,” Harris said. “We’re just so grateful and so lucky to be able to celebrate such a beautiful occasion with such an incredible team of people. They have been so good to us. We hope this is just the beginning.”