Dueling Protests Surrounding Transgender Participation at NCAA Women’s Division I Swimming Championships

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Dueling protests at the NCAA Women's Swimming and Diving Championships. Photo Courtesy: Dan D'Addona

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A group of protesters are patrolling the entrance to the McAuley Aquatic Center at the 2022 NCAA Division I Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships. The protesters carried signs that read “Stand Up 4 Women” and “Support Fair Sports for Women and Girls” protesting the presence of transgender swimmer Lia Thomas at the women’s championships.

Meanwhile, a counterprotest with signs like “We Support Transgender Athletes” and “Hate Has No Place at GT” emerged as well.

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Photo Courtesy: Dan D’Addona

Thomas was in action on Thursday of competition during the prelims of the 500 freestyle in Atlanta, taking the top seed. .

Thomas is a transgender female who formerly competed as a three-year member of the Penn’s men’s squad. After transitioning and undergoing hormone-suppressant therapy, she joined the women’s squad at the Philadelphia school, having met antiquated NCAA guidelines that only required one year of testosterone suppression.

Debate over  Lia Thomas’ participation in women’s competition has raged since early in the season, when she posted nation-leading times in the 200 freestyle and 500 freestyle. Her story was highlighted, and multiple questions arose. How is it fair for a swimmer who underwent male puberty to race against biological females? Shouldn’t Thomas be given an opportunity to race? Obviously, there were differing opinions on the topic.

A group supporting savewomensports.com led the protests in Atlanta on Thursday morning. While it appeared that Georgia Tech students led the counterprotest.

Penn and the Ivy League have given public ongoing support for Lia Thomas, but the debate of public option has a variety of takes on the situation.

“The Ivy League reaffirms its unwavering commitment to providing an inclusive environment for all student-athletes while condemning transphobia and discrimination in any form,” said an Ivy League statement release in January. “The league welcomes (Thomas’) participation in the sport of women’s swimming and diving and looks forward to celebrating the success of all of our student-athletes throughout the season.”

Thomas will compete in three events this weekend at the NCAA Championships.

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Photo Courtesy: Dan D’Addona

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Str
Str
1 year ago

Amazing women! Thank you for the protest!

Ken
Ken
1 year ago

History will not treat the NCAA well. Allowing – and even promoting – males competing against females is the biggest mistake they have ever made.

Stacy Dobson
Stacy Dobson
1 year ago

He should NOT be allowed to compete with women period! So blatantly wrong on every level!

Kaylee Barckhoff
Kaylee Barckhoff
1 year ago
Reply to  Stacy Dobson

she

Jccarte
Jccarte
1 year ago

He

Oline Stehr
Oline Stehr
1 year ago

Thank you for standing up fir womens sports! We stand with you!!!

Harriet
Harriet
1 year ago

Your journalism is very poor. “Thomas is a transgender female” – NO he is a male “who formerly competed as a three-year member of the Penn’s men’s squad. After transitioning” – NO he has not transitioned “and undergoing hormone-suppressant therapy” – reducing testosterone does not reduce the male advantage “she” – HE “joined the women’s squad at the Philadelphia school”

Jake Boyd
Jake Boyd
1 year ago

This allowing a Biological Male to “feel like competing as a Women” will ruin Womens Sports. Those who think this is a Fair competition are idiots. I think the Women that make the Finals should Boycott the Race in the Finals if He/She is entered.

Stacey
Stacey
1 year ago

Supporting the protesters! Biological males should not be allowed to compete with women. This is garbage- taking spots away from women who worked their whole life to get here.

Veritas
Veritas
1 year ago
Reply to  Stacey

Today, it took away an All American award from one woman and an Honorable Mention All American Award from another.

jacqui
jacqui
1 year ago

I have a 13/14 swimmer. She is being told that Lia just tries harder. Not that Lia is a guy.

Still Swimming
Still Swimming
1 year ago
Reply to  jacqui

Outrageous.

Every woman swimmer, past and present, needs to stand up right now for women’s swimming and stop these gaslighting liars from stealing women’s swimming.

Please tell your daughter the truth about males competing in women’s sports. and best of luck to her.

Still Swimming
Still Swimming
1 year ago

Why is standing up for women in women’s sports called “hate” by these Georgia Tech students?

Is basic biology no longer taught in universities? First the Ivy League and now Georgia Tech students seem to be baffled by the Birds & the Bees.

They can’t sort out where babies come from but they’re our future.

Send them to the front, maybe dodging bullets will stop these privileged navel-gazers from spending their student years pondering which of 754,092 “genders” they are.

Laura
Laura
1 year ago

The rhetoric that if you are a biologically born male competing as a woman is transphobic is RIDICULOUS. Ounce for ounce, pound for pound, biologically born females CANNOT compete fairly against the Testosterone that Lia has had in her body over the past years. Common sense people. NCAA has made a choice that is dangerous to women’s sports. Give transgender athletes a separate category to compete. This makes sense. P.S. Today was the saddest day in women’s swimming. I am saddened to think of the implications for my 16 year old daughter who is currently going through the recruiting process.

Jrome
Jrome
1 year ago
Reply to  Laura

NCAA HAS ADVOCATED FOR FAIR PLAY IN SPORTS. THE NCAA ARE FULLY KNOWABLE THAT MEN ARE BIOLOGICALLY DIFFERENT THEN WOMEN. TO ALLOW A BIOLOGICAL MALE TO COMPETE AGAINST WOMEN IS NOT FAIR PLAY. THE NCAA SHOULD BE SUED FOR UNFAIR PRACTICES IN WOMEN SPORTS. BECAUSE SOMEONE DECIDES TO CHANGE THEIR BIOLOGICALLY STRUCTURE DOESN’T MEAN THEY HAVE THE RIGHT TO IMPOSE ON RIGHTS OF WOMEN.

Not your Business
Not your Business
1 year ago

WOMEN/GIRLS sports should only be for biological WOMEN/GIRLS!! How is this fair on any level?

Mark Diorio
Mark Diorio
1 year ago

Lia Thomas is a man. Just look at him. Changing the dressing doesn’t change biology. Now normally I don’t give a crap about what people do, but “her” competing in women’s swimming when he is clearly twice their size is unfair. More important, this garbage will turn society against trans people, as it seems every sub-group now wants special treatment. And no, I am not transphobic, just play fair. Call the NCAA and express your outrage.

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