University of Pennsylvania transgender swimmer Lia Thomas has received “unwavering” support from the Ivy League despite his unfair advantage over female competitors.
Thomas, a biological male, has been shattering women’s records in college swimming this season and raising the hackles of many of his teammates in the process. But while many of his peers are not pleased with the performance, Thomas is being supported by the NCAA.
“Over the past several years, Lia and the University of Pennsylvania worked with the NCAA to follow all of the appropriate protocols in order to comply with the NCAA policy on transgender athlete participation and compete on the Penn women’s swimming and diving team. The Ivy League has adopted and applies the same NCAA policy,” the conference said in a Thursday statement.
“The Ivy League reaffirms its unwavering commitment to providing an inclusive environment for all student-athletes while condemning transphobia and discrimination in any form,” the statement continued.
The Ivy League releases the following statement of support regarding Penn's Lia Thomas' participation on the women's swimming and diving team. 🌿 pic.twitter.com/wdEDW4ud5O
— The Ivy League (@IvyLeague) January 6, 2022
“The league welcomes her participation in the sport of women’s swimming and diving and looks forward to celebrating the success of all of our student-athletes throughout the season,” the statement concluded.
The University also came out in full support of the transgender swimmer.
“Penn Athletics is committed to being a welcoming and inclusive environment for all our student-athletes, coaches and staff and we hold true to that commitment today and in the future,” the university tweeted.
— Penn Quakers (@pennathletics) January 6, 2022
“As a member of the NCAA, Penn is governed by the policies of the national governing body. Lia Thomas has met or exceeded all NCAA protocols over the past two years for a transgender female student-athlete to compete for a women’s team. She will continue to represent the Penn women’s swimming team in competition this season,” the statement added.
“We fully support all the student-athletes and coaches in our swimming & diving program and look forward to the team’s continued success this season,” the school concluded.
Thomas’ teammates have not been as happy over the transgender swimmer’s successes. It is reported that several of the women considered boycotting the last event of the season over Thomas. But the boycott idea failed when the women became afraid that the school and the NCAA might destroy their swimming careers over their anti-trans stance.
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