Riley Gaines, the Kentucky swimmer who tied with transgender athlete Lia Thomas in the women’s 200-meter freestyle event at the NCAA championships, penned an op-ed for Fox News calling for the country to properly recognize that female sports need protection.
Gaines wrote her op-ed in honor of the 37th National Girls and Women in Sports day that will be celebrated on February 1, arguing that the very concept of women’s sports teams faces annihilation from men who wish to compete alongside females.
“Males are hurdling themselves forward in national rankings stealing scholarships, titles, and opportunities from women who have worked their whole lives for those accomplishments,” wrote Gaines.
Gaines recalled having to compete with Lia Thomas at the NCAA Championship in 2022, lamenting how he rose from being ranked 462nd nationally as a male swimmer before switching on to become a female. To make matters worse, UPenn and the NCAA went on to nominate him for the NCAA Woman of the Year award.
The consequences of biological men competing alongside women extend beyond just sports, according to Gaines, stressing that female athletics builds important character traits that extend into people’s professional and personal lives.
“These are life-long skills that present unique advantages contributing greatly to success within careers and relationships,” she wrote. “Ernst and Young found that 94% of women holding senior leadership positions (CEO, CFO, etc.) within a company were involved in sports demonstrating that this participation can propel them to success unrelated to athletics.”
Worst of all, Riley noted that female athletes have no voice to speak out against the injustice of biological male athletes encroaching on their space. If they do speak out, Gaines noted that those girls often face labels like “transphobic,” “hateful,” and “a bigot.”
Girls are reluctant to use their voices due to fear of retaliation. They are told they will never get a job or into a graduate program if they speak out. They are told their school has already made their stance for them.
They are emotionally blackmailed into thinking that they are wrong for being uncomfortable undressing in front of a naked man. In this instance, the concerned female athletes are the ones referred to counseling at the LGBTQ+ education center on campus so they can learn of the oppression these trans-athletes face. Just ask the female swimmers in the Ivy League.
Riley closed out her op-ed celebrating the strength that women have while calling on America’s sporting institutions to honor and protect those strengths instead of letting men trample them.
“Women deserve to be recognized without facing overt discrimination. We deserve equal opportunity. We deserve fair competition. We shouldn’t be denied the right to consent to being exposed to male nudity in the places where we undress,” she added.
Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.