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In fallout over transgender’s record-breaking performance against women swimmers, ADF attorney calls for ‘reality-based’ laws


Parents of swimmers at the University of Pennsylvania are insisting that the NCAA address the biologically unfair advantage held by a transgender swimmer, Lia Thomas, who has been breaking records in women’s swimming competitions.

Quick Facts

According to the letter sent to the NCAA last week, a group of parents of 10 swimmers are arguing that Thomas has an unfair advantage over the other female swimmers on the team. Thomas, 22, competed on the men’s team for three years before making the transition. In the process, Thomas has become a dominant swimmer in college and has broken several women’s records at the university, including several Ivy League records. At the University of Akron Zippy Invitational, Thomas bested another Penn swimmer in the 1650 freestyle by a mind-blowing 38 seconds.

One of Thomas’s teammates spoke to Outkick on condition of anonymity, explaining that swimmers were crying as a result. “They feel so discouraged because no matter how much work they put in it, they’re going to lose. Usually, they can get behind the blocks and know they out-trained all their competitors and they’re going to win and give it all they’ve got.” She added, “Now they’re having to go behind the blocks knowing no matter what, they do not have the chance to win. I think that it’s really getting to everyone.”

The concerned parents stated in the letter,

“At stake here is the integrity of women’s sports. The precedent being set, one in which women do not have a protected and equitable space to compete, is a direct threat to female athletes in every sport. What are the boundaries? How is this in line with the NCAA’s commitment to providing a fair environment for student-athletes?”

Thomas’s teammates have spoken out anonymously because Penn administration has “strongly advised” the female swimmers against speaking about the situation.

In response to the parents’ letter, the university said that it was eager to help students “navigate Thomas’ success” and that the institution “offers students services if they have mental health concerns.”

Christiana Holcomb, legal counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, which represents various female athletes in similar situations, such as Connecticut track athlete Selina Soule, discussed the issue during an interview with Fox News’ Laura Ingraham. Holcomb spoke about the need for “reality-based laws” that enforce boundaries, allowing women to compete in sports fairly without being pitted against transgender athletes who would present an unfair competitive advantage to the other swimmers.

“This is happening across the country in other contexts as well, women trying to say no to men in their private spaces, their homeless shelters, and even their prisons. So, we need reality-based laws that reflect that men and women are different.”

Thus far, the NCAA has not responded to the parents’ concerns, and the University of Pennsylvania seems to have brushed aside the need for an investigation, choosing to double down on a commitment to “inclusivity” rather than acknowledge the unfair competitive advantage posed by Thomas when compared to the other student-athletes.

One of the Penn swimmers said, “While they say they care about all of us, our interests are in direct conflict with the interests of Lia in regards to fair competition and getting to compete. While we support Lia as a person to make decisions for her own life, you cannot make that decision and then come and impede on other people and their rights.”

It is tragic what is happening to these women and women’s sports. Biological men are not only shattering records but shattering the dreams of women athletes. Imagine training your whole life for an athletic competition, but when you reach that day you know you have virtually no chance of winning because of biology.

The situation is perfectly captured by another Penn swimmer, who lamented, “When I have kids, I kinda hope they’re all boys because if I have any girls that want to play sports in college, good luck. [Their opponents] are all going to be biological men saying that they’re women. Right now, we have one, but what if we had three on the team? There’d be three less girls competing.”

So much for equality for women and women’s rights. It is twisted that these men are allowed to dominate women’s sports in the name of equality. One year of testosterone suppressing treatments as the NCAA requires does not level the playing field. The message from Penn and the NCAA to parents and female athletes is clear: You don’t matter. Or worse: If you have an issue with this, you’re the problem and you might want to think about getting some mental health counseling.

No transgender athlete should be competing outside of their biological sex and if politicians, sports officials, and judges truly care about women and omen’s equality, they will put in place policies and rules that make sure that they never do again in the future.

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