Former University of Kentucky swimmer Riley Gaines alleged that transgender swimmer Lia Thomas’ “male genitalia” was exposed in the women’s locker room.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) permitted Thomas, a biological male, to compete against women in the Women’s Championships in 2022, leading to a sweeping victory for the transgender swimmer against the female competitors. Gaines told Fox News’ “America Reports” Wednesday that the organization allowed Thomas to change in front of the girls in the locker room without notifying them beforehand.
“The NCAA, of course we competed against Thomas, but we were not forewarned beforehand that we would be sharing a locker room with Lia,” Gaines said. “We did not give our consent, they did not ask us for our consent, but in that locker room, we turned around and there’s a six-foot-four [inch] biological man dropping his pants and watching us undress and we’re exposed to male genitalia. So, that to me was worse than the competition piece.”
The 12-time All-American and five-time SEC champion said large organizations appear to “encourage” biological males to enter women’s locker rooms and to compete against female athletes. She put off going to dental school to speak up against these new regulations, and urges other female athletes to also use their voices. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Lia Thomas’ Opponent Explains Her Support For Rand Paul, Details Experience Against Transgender Swimmer)
Gaines said many female athletes fear forms of punishment and scrutiny for publicly opposing men competing against them.
“People are terrified,” she said. “Lia Thomas’ teammates even, they’re told that their school makes their stance for them. They’re told if they’re uncomfortable seeing male genitalia in the locker room, then they should seek counseling resources. They’re told they will never get into grad school if they speak up, all of these terrible, awful things that aren’t true. They’re told of course they’ll be called a bigot, and hateful and transphobic, but it doesn’t make you any of those things to acknowledge that there are two sexes, you cannot change your sex and women deserve respect and equal opportunities.”
Gaines has been a vocal voice in standing up to biological males competing in women’s sports. She criticized the White House for promoting “gender ideology propaganda,” including “protections” for trans kids and laws to ban restrictions on transgender individuals, according to a Fact Sheet from March 2022.