Riley Gaines slams Lia Thomas in latest flare-up over trans school athletes

Former college swimmer Riley Gaines has slammed her controversial trans rival Lia Thomas after Thomas called on President Biden to let transgender student athletes compete against their chosen gender unimpeded. 

Gaines tweeted: ‘This take is selfish and shows an utter disregard for women. The Biden Administration is actively and aggressively working to pass laws that erase decent and fair treatment for women in sports,’ tweeted Gaines in response to the video.

‘Are you really trying to say you would have won a national title against the men? Does it not break your heart to see women lose out on these opportunities,’ wrote Gaines.

‘The Biden Admins [sic] proposed bill denies science, truth, and common sense.’ 

Gaines was left disgruntled after Thomas appeared in a video slamming Biden’s proposal to alter the current Title IX civil rights law, which prohibits sex-based discrimination in schools. 

She said trans athletes should be allowed to compete in school contests without exception. 

Biden’s planned change prohibits schools from imposing blanket banks on trans athletes in kindergarten through eighth grade.

But it does give high schools schools the authority to ban trans athletes from competing if they feel there are clear issues around fairness, which are far more likely to arise with trans girls who have gone through male puberty. 

Thomas caused a frenzied reaction across the sporting world when she won the Ivy League and NCAA Championships competing against biological women.

Gaines, a former University of Kentucky swimmer, tied with Thomas on one race, and has since become a prolific commenter on the issue of trans sportswomen.  

Former University of Kentucky swimmer Riley Gaines slammed transgender swimmer Lia Thomas for endorsing a Biden Administration proposed bill that would amend title IX to protect trans athletes

In the roughly 90-second clip, Thomas says that the administration’s rule doesn’t go far enough in its protection of transgender athletes.

The bill, which is an amendment to Title IX – the federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex – would prohibit states from enacting blanket bans on transgender athletes competing against their non-biological sex in grades K-8.

It would not, however, prevent those sorts of bans against older trans athletes, who are in high school and college.

Thomas, who competed for the University of Pennsylvania men’s swim team before beginning her transition and making an entrance into the girl’ locker rooms, says in the video that protections against trans athletes should extend beyond middle school.

Thomas said the proposed rule is a ‘good start’ but is ‘not enough.’

‘This rule is a good start. However, it is not enough. During this time of intense anti-trans backlash, the trans community needs explicit protections from discrimination in order to live our lives freely and equally,’ said Thomas.

‘All trans kids deserve the opportunity to compete and play in the sports they love without compromising who they are.’

Transgender swimmer Lia Thomas and Riley Gaines share the podium at an NCAA meet

Transgender swimmer Lia Thomas and Riley Gaines share the podium at an NCAA meet 

Since graduating, Gaines has become an outspoken advocate for protecting women's sports

Since graduating, Gaines has become an outspoken advocate for protecting women’s sports against being infiltrated and dominated transgender athletes 

Thomas competed for three years on the University of Pennsylvania men's swim team before transitioning and competing for the women's team for her remaining two years of eligibility

Thomas competed for three years on the University of Pennsylvania men’s swim team before transitioning and competing for the women’s team

The national swimming champ, who sported a tank top that read ‘trans athletes belong in sports’ in the video, encourages others to urge the Biden administration to amend the rule to include all transgender athletes, no matter their age.

The video and Gaines’ criticism thereof come after Biden’s White House vowed to veto a bill that would prevent biological males from participating in women’s sports.

The Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act was introduced by Florida Representative Greg Steube and will likely come to a vote on the House floor sometime this week.

The legislation faces a steep battle in the Democrat-controlled Senate.

A statement from the White House read: ‘The Administration strongly opposes House passage of H.R. 734 (Steube’s bill). For students nationwide, participating in sports and being part of a team is an important part of growing up, staying engaged in school, and learning leadership and life skills. 

‘H.R. 734 would deny access to sports for many families by establishing an absolute ban on transgender students – even those as young as elementary schoolers – playing on a team consistent with their gender identity.’

The statement claimed that the law would force a ‘one-size-fits all requirement that forces coaches to remove kids from their teams,’ arguing that transgender youth across the country are already facing a mental health crisis. 

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