Riley Gaines had just given a speech at San Francisco State University in support of the integrity of women’s sport.
In the powerful speech Gaines described the effect on her and other female swimmers from the inclusion of Lia Thomas in competitive college swimming. Thomas is a trans woman who still has his male genitalia in tact. Thomas was also allowed by sports authorities to use the women’s changing rooms.
Thomas cleaned up in most events, although he tied with Gaines in a dead heat for one race, officials gave the trophy to Thomas for ‘marketing purposes’.
‘I proudly finished my career as a 12-time NCAA All-American, a five time SEC champion. I am one of the fatest 200 metre butterflyers of all time,’ said Gaines in the speech.
‘But on March 17th of last year my team mates and I, and other female swimmers from universities around the country were forced to compete against a biological male named Lia Thomas.
‘Thomas was allowed to compete in the women’s division after competing as a member of the University of Pennsylvania’s men’s swim team for three years.
‘We watched on the side of the pool as Thomas won a national title in the 500 yard freestyle beating out the most impressive and accomplished female athletes in the country, including Olympians and American record-holders. Whereas just the year before Thomas at best was ranking in the 400s in the men’s category.
‘The next day Thomas and I raced in the 200 freestyle, which ended up in a tie. We went the exact same time down to a 100th of a second. Having only one trophy, the NCAA told me I would go home empty-handed and this trophy would go to Thomas. And when I questioned this, the NCAA told me Thomas had to hold it for photo purposes…
‘By allowing Thomas to displace female athletes in the pool and on the podium, the NCAA intentionally and explicity discriminated on the basis of sex. Although the NCAA claimed it acted in the name of inclusion, its policies in fact excluded female athletes…
‘The NCAA forced female swimmers to share a locker room with Thomas, a 6ft 4 22 year old male who is fully intact with male genitalia. Let me be clear. We were not forewarned. We were not asked for our consent and we did not give our consent.’
After an incredible weekend of well-deserved publicity for female athletes, I hope that ALL women–including my peers in the media–come together & support ALL female athletes..before it's too late. 🙏🏽@Riley_Gaines_ shouldn't be standing alone!! WATCH: https://t.co/jm1yvL1xt1
— Sage Steele (@sagesteele) April 4, 2023
As Gaines made her way out of the auditorium, a group of up to 50 trans activists were waiting for her in the corridor. She posted a video of the shocking ordeal, claiming she was physically hit twice by a man as security and police tried to take her to safety. ‘This is proof women need sex-protected spaces’, she tweeted.
Media reports said Gaines had to hide for three hours in the building under police protection until the demonstrators went away. Another video showed the mob waiting for Gaines to reappear, with some claiming they were holding Gaines hostage and demanding money for her safe passage, although this allegation has not yet been verified.
The prisoners are running the asylum at SFSU…I was ambushed and physically hit twice by a man. This is proof that women need sex-protected spaces.
Still only further assures me I'm doing something right. When they want you silent, speak louder. 🗣️ pic.twitter.com/uJW3x9RERf
— Riley Gaines (@Riley_Gaines_) April 7, 2023
— @amuse (@amuse) April 7, 2023