Penn Swimmers Cannot Express Opinions on Lia Thomas; Athletes Shut Down By School

lia-thomas, transgender, penn swimming, ncaa

Nancy Hogshead-Makar: Penn Swimmers Cannot Express Opinions on Lia Thomas

Olympic gold medalist and women’s sports advocate Nancy Hogshead-Makar has been one of the strongest voices in the current controversy regarding whether transgender female athletes such as Lia Thomas should be allowed to compete at the NCAA Championships. Hogshead-Makar has argued against Thomas’ inclusion because she believes Thomas would be competing with a biological advantage over cisgender females.

In an interview on the Smerconish Show on Sirius XM radio, Hogshead-Makar told host Michael Smerconish that it would be impossible to prioritize both inclusion and fairness for transgender athletes. “I would say that for all events that are in the pool, I would say, ‘no.’ I wish we could say otherwise,” Hogshead-Makar said. “The shorter the event, the less likely it is that somebody is going to be able to mitigate what male puberty gives somebody.”

Recently, Hogshead-Makar helped pen a statement on behalf of 16 members of the Penn’s women team who believe that Thomas racing at the upcoming  NCAA Championships would create an unfair competitive environment. This group of Penn women want the school and the Ivy League to refrain from suing the NCAA to try to get Thomas into the meet. Currently, it is unclear if the NCAA would adopt new USA Swimming rules regarding transgender athletes, even though the NCAA recently announced it would be deferring to individual sports’ national governing bodies to create policy.

In the interview with Smerconish, Hogshead-Makar expressed concern that Penn swimmers with misgivings about Thomas competing in women’s events were not allowed to share those thoughts publicly.

“Whenever the swimmers have expressed any discomfort or any second thoughts or want to talk about it with leaders at Penn or with their coaches, they are shut down right away. There’s no room for them to say anything. They have been told that if they speak out, they will never get a job again, that corporate America will Google their name and say, ‘Transphobe, we don’t want that.’ They’ve been told that they can’t do anything,” Hogshead-Makar said.

“Can you imagine going to workout every day and going to training camp and having thoughts and feelings, very strong ones, and not be able to communicate them? Not be able to talk even amongst your peers, to really feel shut down about the whole thing. It’s really, really hard for them.”

Hogshead-Makar articulated significant concern about those opposed to Thomas’ participation being labeled as “transphobic.” The CEO of the organization Champion Women explained that individuals can support transgender rights and acceptance while still arguing for holding sporting events on the basis of biology.

“I think that calling someone transphobic is a way to shut someone down,” Hogshead-Makar said. “It’s a way to marginalize whatever their opinion is. You can be supportive of trans people, and you want them to thrive in life, and you want them to be who they are, and you don’t want any discrimination going on in employment, in the classroom or in public accommodations, but to recognize that there is biology, that there is a difference between men and women. There are very few places where biology really matters, and competitive sports is one of those. In competitive sports, we need to make sure that women have equal opportunities to complete.”

Watch the full interview with Hogshead-Makar and Smerconish below on the Lia Thomas debate:

31 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
avatar
Anonymous
11 months ago

There is no such thing as a human changing sex. Sex is binary and immutable, male or female. Any human who thinks they are the other sex is doing it as an unhealthy coping mechanism. “Lia” has a problem coping with something in his life and needs mental help, not hormones, and is definitely not a woman!

avatar
Lu
11 months ago
Reply to  Anonymous

It’ is a disgrace that UPENN would allow themselves to be a part of such an outlandish controversy!I am a HISPANIC WOMAN and I know of only 2 genders FEMALE AND MALE…. Period!!! I am not easily swayed by nonsensical rhetoric by the radical liberals… Lia Thomas is a transgender and he is A BIOLOGICAL MAN…. Period!! Did he not feel strong enough to compete within the male swimming team? How about he compete on the mens team as (Lia the “female” )
instead of causing frustration with authentic female hard core swimmers. I am not here to abominate anyone who chooses to trans) However, It is utterly unconscionable that women must be subjective to an issue that is clearly unfair. UPENN needs to get back to SLEEP WITH THEIR WOKENESS! Stick to the ACADEMIA Instead!

avatar
Anonymous
11 months ago
Reply to  Lu

Amen!

avatar
NYCowboy
11 months ago

Lia Thomas hasn’t cut it off yet. Make a damn commitment and then I’ll be willing to discuss the matter.

avatar
Anonymous
11 months ago
Reply to  NYCowboy

She is a he,period he should only race against other transgenders,any of you who think men and women are the same really need to go back to school, you missed something, if you want fair then let’s have transgender competition, but men and women are different

avatar
Dawn
11 months ago

Biological males are the reason women have had to fight for their own private spaces in almost every aspect of life. Its like all of a sudden, males are opting-in to a womans biogical reality and then claiming oppression to get women to back down and let them in to their spaces and sports. Men are not oppressed, even if they identify as a woman. And any male who has gone through male puberty retains his biological and chromisomal advantage, regardless of how he identifies.

avatar
Neisha watson
11 months ago
Reply to  Dawn

100% correct and so many are not looking these factors.

avatar
Paul Romano
11 months ago
Reply to  Dawn

Since you are not a man, what gives you the right to speak about the male situation. Pretty bold and hypocritical as you presume to speak about a group you are not part of.
If men can’t give their opinion on all things female, to allow you to speak about males would be exercising your female privilege.

avatar
Marian Berkowitz
11 months ago

I have to wonder why, in the cmurrent climate, mankind has decided he is better than God/Nature…. We suddenly can change what nature cannot? Wokeness seems to me to be a control attempt.

Am I supposed to abandon my scientific education because a group “wants” something to be so?

avatar
HS & College Swimmer
11 months ago

While I applaud Nancy Hogshead-Makar for somewhat standing behind these brave young swimmers, she is also stating here that she is on board with any and every man being allowed into women’s locker rooms, women’s hospital rooms, women’s prison cells, women’s domestic violence shelters and rape crisis centers.

She’s also on board with a male TSA agent who claims to be a woman being allowed to pat down the intimate areas of the bodies of female travelers, including grandmas and baby girls.

Because that’s what Nancy Hogshead-Makar means when she said that men who claim to be women shouldn’t face “discrimination” in public accommodation and employment.

When I was a very young swimmer, I used to look up to female swimmers like Hogshead-Makar and Nyad, but now I just look at them as appeasers, willing to give up most of the human and civil rights women fought so hard for in order to keep the menz happy.

avatar
Ellen
11 months ago

I don’t think it’s what she said. She said that there are evry few cases when biological sex matters and sport is one of them. She’s putting her reputation on the line here and you need to give her the benefit of the doubt. Very few (former or current) athletes are vocal with their support for women’s sport

avatar
ana
11 months ago

HS & College Swimmer:

I agree with you 250%

avatar
Stuart
11 months ago

Ground zero has to be trans-women are males. If not we end up with the mess we now have and it will only get worse

avatar
Mom
11 months ago
Reply to  Stuart

Right there with you. Trans-women are males. We all know this, whether we’re willing to admit it or not.

avatar
Seasons
11 months ago

You can’t have it both ways; on one hand have girls on boys teams and on the other say boys can’t be on girls teams. Each gender, and every individual, has unique advantages and disadvantages over team mates and opposition (eg height, intelligence, ability to multitask, etc). For example, the Penn swimmers were all born relatively smart and rich. If poorer boys and girls had their money for private swim lessons for decades, those kids would also have taken their place. Penn Hypocrites now complain boys can’t be on girls teams but said nothing when girls took boys spots.

avatar
Alfreda
11 months ago
Reply to  Seasons

This is really a straw man argument which has been debated for many years. When girls wanted to play sports like baseball and soccer, etc., there WERE NO girls teams for them to play on, otherwise they would have played on girls teams. There was never any movement to displace boys in sports with girls. What is true is that girls want to play sports, so over the years fought to have teams established for them to play, or petitioned to be included to play on the only teams available to them, established first for boys. Lia Thomas is coming in at a time where there is absolutely no reason for him to expect to swim on a women’s team–he has every opportunity to swim on the men’s team as he has been since he was 5. No one is preventing him from swimming, or taking a place away from him. He has arbitrarily decided that he is a woman despite his male body parts and physique, and expects everyone to roll over for him and congratulate him for his great “courage” and insight. LOL! This has become a circus sideshow generated by money in sports and the tremendous egos of “transwomen.”

avatar
Season
11 months ago
Reply to  Alfreda

Can’t hide your Transphobia behind strawman point. Penn swim team are in the top 1% wealthiest people on earth and you say that can’t speak up? Lol. Nonsense. People want “even playing field” then get out there on the same field and play the game (or swim). But no, what you really want is a place where rich and lesser athletes can go to get a trophy. Where they can avoid those bigger, stronger, poorer athletes.

avatar
Anonymous
11 months ago

The transphobia in this comment section is heartbreaking. It’s one thing to agree with this sports woman, it’s another to call Lia a freak and say that SHE is pretending to be a woman. Anyone saying that about her is pretending to be a human. It’s like men some can’t accept that GOD GETS IT WRONG on occasion, so He gave us minds capable of finding solutions to His mistakes. If you are truly people of God, then act like it.

avatar
Mom
11 months ago
Reply to  Anonymous

I really don’t know why you’re bringing God into this. This is a simple matter of biology. Lia has XY DNA and is consequently a male. Feel free to try and prove otherwise.

There are all kinds of people in this world that occasionally develop delusions where their beliefs that don’t match with reality. Only in cases like Lia’s do we compel other people to agree with the delusions. I don’t think this sets a healthy precedent for anyone, including Lia.

avatar
Alfreda
11 months ago
Reply to  Anonymous

Sounds to me like you are cherry-picking allowable “delusions.” The predominant feeling here is that however Lia feels about himself, the rest of us are NOT compelled to agree or participate with something as illusory as his decision to be female in gender only. I, and many others here I suspect, have “feelings” about themselves that others don’t agree with, not necessarily pertaining to gender, which we must put in perspective to get along with others. Lia needs to show mutual respect to obtain respect, and that means respecting the feelings of the biological female swimmers on the team, who have been put under gag orders not to speak about how his actions are affecting them. By all accounts, he has just decided to ignore any negative opinions and steamroll ahead. This goes beyond any “female feelings” he has about himself, into misogynist territory.

avatar
Anonymous
11 months ago
Reply to  Alfreda

We are already in misogynist territory….women need society to protect them from biological males because they are weaker, of lesser ability, etc. Elite athletes have all types of advantages, Michael Phelps had several innate biological advantages that aided him in becoming the most decorated swimmer of all time. Some people aren’t tall enough to play basketball, most people don’t have the time or money to train to be an elite athlete. Biological males may have a physical advantage over biological females in some areas, but, not others. However, that advantage does not automatically translate into a win. Instead of crying about a specific type of physical advantage and getting society to “protect weakling females”, why don’t the female athletes show they don’t need this protection and push themselves to beat the competition. I mean that is what competition is.

avatar
Lia Thomas
10 months ago
Reply to  Anonymous

Yeah ladies. It’s your fault. You’re not pushing yourselves enough to beat me. Lol

avatar
Paul
11 months ago

Ladies , don’t show up for any meets and let her compete alone and see how long that lasts

avatar
Anonymous
11 months ago

Is it transportation because a disagree with an idea that you think is ok?

avatar
Concerned citizen
11 months ago

It’s odd people say they can’t say anything bad about Miss Thomas, because every article I’ve read about her has been attacking her.

Maybe people feel like they can’t say anything is them battling their own conscious. They know it is sour grapes. Perhaps they should listen to their better angels in this instance and not talk about things they don’t understand. Transgender existence is proven by biology and taking hormones changes a person’s body to their correct gender. You have to ask yourself, would they be so mad if she was losing?

avatar
Alfreda
11 months ago

“Transgender existence is proven by biology and taking hormones changes a person’s body to their correct gender.”

Wow. This is why you are “being attacked,” it’s not personal. This is just false, false, false. Misinformation is not going to get ya’ll anywhere towards acceptance.

avatar
Lia Thomas
10 months ago

In the words of the great psalmist:

“Sheena was a man.”

avatar
Alexis
11 months ago

That is a dude in a womans bathing suit. That male is not equal to a female, no matter what he has done, and most females cannot compete. So not fair to those women who are giving their all. I am feeling very sorry for any woman who is fighting/wanting to get ahead right now.

avatar
OceanSpirit
11 months ago

“Anonymous
Instead of crying about a specific type of physical advantage and getting society to “protect weakling females”, why don’t the female athletes show they don’t need this protection and push themselves to beat the competition. I mean that is what competition is.”

I am sooooo glad you said this. Since you think women should push themselves harder to beat a man whose shoulders look like Michael Phelps, TELL William/Lia Thomas to take his behind BACK to the men’s team and just push himself to do better!!! He joined the women’s team because he couldn’t win anything on the men’s team. The COMPETITION was too steep. His current female teammates have shown tremendous courage racing against someone they know has an unfair advantage. Brava ladies!!

avatar
Lou
11 months ago
Reply to  OceanSpirit

Thank you!! I mentioned the same thing!!! Tell Lia to swim on the mens teams as Lia, let’s see how much GRIEF THOSE SUPER-HYPED TESTOSTERONE BOYS feel about Lia joining them! Perhaps that’s what “Lia” joined the “weakling girls team, “ give me a break Mr. Anonymous! Competition is competition but clearly it’s unfair competition! “Lia” is 6 feet plus built like Ram!!! He knew full well he would decimate the authentic girls team by infiltrating them by using his masculinity as an advantage..I called that CHEATING!!!!

avatar
Varak
11 months ago

I have a pet snake. It has four legs, a tail, runs around barking and goes ‘woof’. Anyone who denies it’s a snake is a transphobic fascist and should be jailed because of science.