Riley Gaines, who previously competed against transgender swimmer Lia Thomas, said Wednesday that swimmers were advised to seek counseling if they felt uncomfortable changing in front of a male.
The former University of Kentucky swimmer joined “Fox & Friends” along with Republican Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul to discuss the aftermath of competing against Thomas, a biological male who defeated the female competitors by 1.75 seconds in the 500 free event at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Women’s Championships.
Gaines said Thomas’ teammates at the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) thanked her for speaking out about a biological male competing against women, but the university sided with Thomas.
“This is something they deal with every single day, but of course they’re intimidated, they’re threatened, they’re emotionally blackmailed,” Gaines said. “I have so many examples of what these Ive League schools have said to their swimmers in hopes to not get them to speak out. One of those examples being an email sent to the Ivy League swimmers saying if you feel uncomfortable changing in an area where you will see male genitalia, here’s some resources and you should seek counseling.”
She added she has not received a major amount of “blowback” for saying women’s sports should solely be for women athletes, though she has been accused of being “transphobic,” “ugly” or a bad swimmer. (RELATED: ‘Forced To Race Against A Male’: Female Swimmer Rips Into NCAA Over Lia Thomas)
Paul added that a growing number of women view this as unfair, but many are afraid to voice their opposition due to the liberal media branding them haters.
“This isn’t about hate, this is about fairness,” Paul said. “This is about that women should get to compete against women. It’s just not fair to have men there. It’s like, if the men can’t compete against the men, that’s on them. But it really isn’t fair for them to come over and think that they can try to win on the women’s side.”
Gaines decried UPenn for nominating Thomas for the NCAA “Woman of the Year’ award during a July interview with Fox News host and Daily Caller co-founder Tucker Carlson. She called the nomination a “mockery” to women who have dedicated their entire lives to competing.
“It’s an insult, it’s incredibly disheartening and, quite frankly, it’s wrong,” she said. “We have an NCAA ‘Woman of the Year’ who has spent 95% of their life as a male, it doesn’t add up. It’s incredibly insulting. Think of all the deserving female athletes who did not get this nomination and Thomas did after quite literally after one year. Woman of the Year, it makes sense because it’s been one year Thomas has spent as a female.”
She also said she received a letter from the NCAA claiming Thomas’ nomination is “rooted in Title IX.”
President Joe Biden’s administration recently proposed revisions to Title IX regulations to prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity, meaning a public school could lose federal funding if a biological male is blocked from participating in a women’s competition.