Several members of the United States women's national team wore athletic tape on their wrists with "Protect Trans Kids" written on it during a soccer game Wednesday in Frisco, Texas, in a protest against that state's governor.
As reported by ESPN, the wristbands worn during Wednesday's SheBelieves Cup game against Iceland in Frisco, Texas, were a protest against a letter Texas governor Greg Abbott sent to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. In the letter, Abbott wrote that employees and licensed professionals should report transgender children and their parents to state authorities to investigate gender-confirming care as child abuse.
"With the platform we have, we really wanted to show why this team is different and why we do things that are much bigger than just the game," USWNT forward Catarina Macario told reporters after the game.
Macario showed her wrist to the camera after scoring her second goal at the end of the first half. "It was just a way to show awareness, especially because we were playing in Texas," she said. "I wanted to make sure everyone was able to see it, and it wasn't just another thing getting [swept] under the rug."
Several players also posted the wristbands on social media with messages of support for transgender children, including USWNT captain Becky Sauerbrunn.
"To deny gender-affirming resources to trans kids and to threaten their parents and guardians with claims of child abuse is MONSTROUS," Sauerbrunn tweeted. "If you want to help, support groups like @EqualityTexas."
Kristie Mewis, Margaret Purce, Andi Sullivan and Megan Rapinoe were also pictured wearing the wristbands.
Legislation targeting participation by transgender individuals in organized sports that match their gender identification has been introduced or passed into law in dozens of states. This week, the Iowa House of Representatives passed a bill that would ban girls and women from competing in school and college sports of their choice.