A transgender cyclist has blamed Donald Trump Jr for an increase in death threats aimed at her after the president's son went on a Twitter rant.
Back in October, Trump Jr lashed out at Rachel McKinnon after she claimed the gold medal for the women's event at the U.C.I. Masters Track Cycling World Championships.
Trump Jr called her victory 'BS' and claimed that it would "destroy women's sports and everything so many amazing athletes have worked their entire lives to achieve."
At the time, McKinnon did respond to Trump Jr on Twitter but in an article recently published by the New York Times, she has revealed the full extent of the abuse she received thanks to Trump's rant.
She writes that she has noticed a surge in hateful language directed at her on social media, including death threats.:
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.
She then went on to address the criticism that Trump Jr and others had aimed for competing against women, something that she isn't allowed to do, also detailing how she doesn't hold an advantage over others.
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.
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?
Trump Jr is no stranger to making transphobic comments. Last month, while promoting his book on CBS, he was cut off by presenters after pushing anti-trans rhetoric.