Female Swimmer Torches ESPN for Featuring Transgender Swimmer in Its Women's History Month


Female swimmer Riley Gaines called out ESPN for featuring Lia Thomas, a transgender swimmer, in a special for Women’s History Month.

On March 26, Gaines addressed the controversy on her Twitter page.

“Lia Thomas is not a brave, courageous woman who EARNED a national title. He is an arrogant, cheat who STOLE a national title from a hardworking, deserving woman. The [National Collegiate Athletic Association] is responsible,” she wrote in the caption of ESPN’s video.

She also wrote that if she “was a woman working at ESPN” she “would walk out.”

“You’re spineless [ESPN],” she added.

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She also called for the boycott of ESPN.

In the segment titled “Celebrating Women’s History Month,” Thomas was referred to as “the first transgender athlete to win an NCAA Division I Championship by winning the 500 Freestyle,” in 2022.

“People will say, ‘Oh, she just transitioned so she would have an advantage so she could win.’ I transitioned to be happy,” Thomas said in the video.

In 2022, Thomas was also nominated for the NCAA Woman of the Year award.

On Thursday, the World Athletics Council announced it “agreed to exclude male-to-female transgender athletes who have been through male puberty from female World Rankings competition.” The ban will take effect on March 31.

The Council also stated it would prioritize “fairness and the integrity of the female competition before inclusion.”

“Decisions are always difficult when they involve conflicting needs and rights between different groups, but we continue to take the view that we must maintain fairness for female athletes above all other considerations,” World Athletics President Sebastian Coe said.

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“We believe the integrity of the female category in athletics is paramount,” Coe added.

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