Former NCAA swimmer Riley Gaines totally destroyed the false claims of a “queer” activist in testimony before the U.S. Senate during its “Protecting Pride: Defending the Civil Rights of LGBTQ+ Americans” hearing on Wednesday.
Activist Kelley Robinson appeared before the committee to represent the Democrat side of the transgender athlete argument and made an outright false statement to a question posed by Louisiana Republican John Kennedy, who asked if she could give him an example of any women playing in the NBA.
While Robinson did not have an answer to that query, she did offer a tangential reply that she thought proved that men pose no threat in women’s sports.
Robinson, who claims to be the first queer, black president of the Human Rights Campaign, blurted out a factoid about tennis star Serena Williams that she seemed to think proved her point.
“There’s been this news article about men that think they can beat Serena Williams in tennis, right, that they think they can actually score a point on her,” Robinson replied to Kennedy’s question. “And it’s just not the case. She is stronger than them.”
But Riley Gaines was armed with actual facts and totally destroyed Robinson’s false claim about Serena Williams.
“Both Serena and Venus lost to the 203rd-ranked male tennis player,” Gaines told the Senators sitting before her.
Dem witness: "There's been this news article about men that think they can beat Serena Williams in tennis. And it's just not the case. She is stronger than them." @Riley_Gaines_: "Both Serena and Venus lost to the 203rd ranked male tennis player." pic.twitter.com/MSAnV6IA5t
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) June 21, 2023
This is not just Gaines’ interpretation of the facts, either. Gaines is correct that both Williams sisters lost to a low-ranked male player in an exhibition match in 1998 when the sisters were in peak physical condition. And it corresponds to Serena Williams’ own feelings that women are simply not at the same level as men in sports.
Male player Karsten Braasch was already past his prime playing years at 31 years of age, and at the time, he was only ranked as the World No. 203 male player. But when the Williams sisters brashly claimed that they could beat any male player ranked in the top 200 players, Braasch stepped up and played the girls. And he destroyed them one after the other.
Braasch first beat Serena 6-1 in a single-set, winner-takes-all game. And when it was time for Venus to face him, Braasch trounced her 6-2. Even as a lowly 203-ranked player, it turned out that he was just faster and could hit harder than the spry young girls. As good as the girls were, they couldn’t even beat a man who was never exactly a contender.
Later, in August of 2013, Serena asserted that women don’t measure up to men on the court when she appeared on the David Letterman Show. She admitted that even as a top world women’s tennis player, she could not beat men’s tennis star Andy Murray.
Serena Williams told Letterman that she heard tennis star Andy Murray “joking” about having a match against Williams. But Williams was not interested in such a match.
“Andy, seriously. Like, are you kidding me?” she said about the idea. “For me, men’s tennis and women’s tennis are completely almost two separate sports.”
“So, if I were to play Andy Murray, I would lose, 6-0, 6-0, in 5 to 6 minutes, maybe 10 minutes,” Williams said.
“No, it’s true,” she added when Letterman tried to protest, “it’s a completely different sport. Men are a lot faster, and they serve harder and hit harder, it’s just a different game, and I only want to play girls, I don’t want to be embarrassed… So, Andy, I’m not going to let you kill me.”
In 1998, Venus and Serena both found that men’s tennis was a harder, faster game and that women could not compete at the same level as men. That embarrassing experience likely led Serena to refuse to participate in a similar match in 2013.