During the turbulent NCAA women’s swimming season this year (a phrase I never imagined myself typing), less attention was paid to the standings than the participation of transgender swimmer Lia Thomas. Competing as a man, Thomas was unremarkable in terms of his performance, to put it mildly. But after a year of hormone injections, he was allowed to compete against the women and began breaking records left and right. Most of Thomas’ teammates and other athletes he competed against were largely kept silent about the unfairness of the situation by the NCAA with an assist from the government. But a few women did speak out, indicating that there were others who were also upset about competing against a male athlete, but were afraid to go public with their complaints. One of the ones who did was Riley Gaines, a swimmer from the University of Kentucky. And now that she’s graduated, she has even more to say. It wasn’t just the fact that Thomas was in the pool with the ladies. She said she felt “extreme discomfort” sharing a locker room with him and some of her teammates felt the same way. (NY Post)
A former college swimmer who has been outspoken in her criticism of Lia Thomas said she felt “extreme discomfort” sharing a locker room with the transgender athlete she competed against.
Riley Gaines, who swam competitively for the University of Kentucky, told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson that she was uncomfortable changing in the same locker room as someone with “different parts” and accused organizers of failing to disclose the fact that Thomas would be using the women’s facilities.
“That’s not something we were forewarned about, which I don’t think is right in any means, changing in a locker room with someone who has different parts,” Gaines said in an interview with the conservative talk-show host.
Here’s Riley Gaines talking to Tucker Carlson last month about the nomination of Lia Thomas to be the “woman of the year” in the NCAA.
Now that the season is over and many of the top competitors have graduated, perhaps more of them will feel free to come forward and speak out about this. Of course, the ones who still have a year or two to go before graduation may still be afraid to go public.
But why would they not feel uncomfortable showing up in the locker room and seeing a guy (or “someone who has different parts” as Gaines politely put it) getting undressed at the next locker or in the shower? As Gaines pointed out, the league made little or no effort to prepare the swimmers for this. They were not warned that they would be sharing the locker room with a guy. It’s not difficult to imagine the shock of that putting some of them off their game and further hurting their chances for victory.
Trans activists around the country seemed to feel that Lia Thomas would be the poster child for “transgender rights” or something of the sort. But what he’s turned out to be is the poster child for the unfairness of the current system. Girls and women had to fight for a long time to have equal rights and opportunities in the sporting world. But then, as Tom MacDonald put it in his song The System, “have the men turn into women and you’ll fight for them again.”