All-American swimmer Riley Gaines takes on trans athlete Lia Thomas: 'I've watched first-hand women lose out on opportunities'

'From my experience competing against Lia Thomas at the national championships, I watched first-hand women lose out on opportunities,' Gaines stated. 'I watched women not become All-Americans, missing that eighth and 16th place by one place because they were displaced by a male.'

All-American swimmer Riley Gaines takes on trans athlete Lia Thomas: 'I've watched first-hand women lose out on opportunities'
AP Photo/Darren Abate
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A former All-American swimmer, Riley Gaines, slammed transgender athlete Lia Thomas, after Thomas voiced concerns about the lack of opportunities for trans kids in sports. Thomas had cited restrictions placed by many states and athletic organizations, which bar biological males from competing against females.

During an interview on "Piers Morgan Uncensored," Gaines, criticized Thomas, who had expressed concern about "trans kids losing out on opportunities" due to restrictions that prohibit biological males from competing against females.

Gaines, who has emerged as a vocal advocate for protecting the integrity of women's sports, argued that it is men who identify as women and compete in female sports who are denying opportunities to female athletes.

“Lia Thomas [was] quoted saying, you know, ‘It breaks my heart to see trans kids lose out on opportunities,” Gaines told Morgan. “Replace that with word ‘woman.’ Does it still break Thomas’s heart to see women lose out on opportunities? Because that’s what’s happening.”

Gaines and Thomas both finished in fifth place in the NCAA finals of the women’s 200-meter race last year, but Thomas was awarded the medal. Gaines has expressed her belief that the NCAA's decision to award Thomas the medal was part of an effort to promote the transgender athlete.

“From my experience competing against Lia Thomas at the national championships, I watched first-hand women lose out on opportunities,” Gaines stated. “I watched women not become All-Americans, missing that eighth and 16th place by one place because they were displaced by a male. This, of course, goes against everything that Title IX was created to protect and now we have the Biden administration, the people in the White House, who are actively working to rewrite Title IX.”

Title IX states: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

Gaines responded to criticism from Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA), who accused her of expressing her views on men competing against women for attention. Gaines dismissed the accusation and criticized Porter for not supporting women's sex-protected spaces and rights, saying, “You just can’t help but laugh … it’s ironic. It’s always women fighting against women’s sex-protected spaces and rights.”

“I’m speaking for every female athlete, not just myself,” Gaines asserted. “I’m done competing. This isn’t about me. But I know what’s at stake if someone doesn’t use their voice. I have a younger sister. I just got married. I can only hope one day that I have a daughter and I can’t imagine being in this position and not fighting for them.”

Gaines stated that advocating for the protection of female athletes has come at a personal cost for her.

“Nothing has been for personal advancement,” she told Morgan. “Nothing has been for monetary value for me. I was supposed to be in dental school this year. So, by no means did I even feel equipped to do what I’m doing. This is not about me, and hearing her say that showed her true ignorance.”

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