Charlie Kirk is the far-right founder of the conservative youth outreach group Turning Point USA. The organization's conferences often feature high profile members of Congress and, on multiple occasions, former President Donald Trump.
In a recent panel, Kirk railed against the participation of transgender athletes in sports, perpetuating the conservative hysteria that trans women are seeking to destroy women's athletics. He particularly focused on Lia Thomas, the trans woman swimmer at the University of Pennsylvania whose success at the sport has prompted transphobic vitriol from conservatives.
Thomas has met all the requirements of the National Collegiate Athletic Association's (NCAA) policy for transgender participants and though she's set records while competing on the women's team, she's also by no means unbeatable.
Thomas won the 500 yard freestyle Division I national championship by less than two seconds, and remains about nine seconds behind the all-time record held by swimmer Katie Ledecky. After that race, Thomas tied for fifth place in the 200 yard freestyle at the NCAA Swimming Championships.
Data analysts have found no significant differences in Thomas' overall swimming performance compared to other women in the sport.
Nevertheless, Charlie Kirk thinks she and athletes like her should be physically prevented from playing sports.
When speaking about women competing with Thomas, Kirk said:
"This is not your fight. You are a woman. Where are the men? So, here's where I'm really upset is that we believe that men are protectors – protectors of the innocent, protectors of what is the natural law. I'm not going to say that women don't have fight in them. But men need to lead."
Then came his endorsement of physical intimidation:
"And so here is my challenge for every man across America. This is happening in your local school board, it's not enough to showing up to meetings and all this. You need to intervene. You need to show up to the sporting event and be like this is not happening actually. You're not competing against my daughter. She has XX chromosomes, you have XY chromosomes, get off the court, get out of the pool. It's not going to happen anymore."
Social media users condemned Kirk's violent rhetoric.
Some demanded YouTube moderate the video.
For others, it was all too clear the kind of America for which Charlie Kirk longs.
Conservative rhetoric surrounding transgender people continues to become more and more unhinged.