Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who is considered a potential contender in the 2024 presidential race, recently criticized a biological male swimmer for competing in and winning the women’s NCAA championships against female opponents in 2022. DeSantis expressed his disapproval, stating, “It is wrong to have a swimmer compete for three years on the men’s swim team, switch to the women’s team, and then win the women’s national championship,” during his speech at Liberty University on Friday, and adding, “That is a fraud. That is wrong.”
Although DeSantis did not specifically name the swimmer, it is widely believed that he was referring to Lia Thomas, the biological male who secured a tie with 12-time All-American female swimmer Riley Gaines in the 200-yard NCAA championships in March 2022. DeSantis’ remarks come in the wake of an unsettling incident involving Gaines, who is a vocal advocate for preventing biological males who identify as female from competing in women’s sports.
'That is a fraud': Gov. DeSantis calls out Lia Thomas, biological men competing in women's sports
'That is a fraud. That is wrong,' DeSantis said of biological men competing in women's sports
— xzy909 (@xzy909) April 14, 2023
Gaines was reportedly “violently accosted, shouted at, physically assaulted, and barricaded in a room by protestors” after addressing students at San Francisco State University (SFSU). The incident provoked immediate condemnation from GOP leaders who are working towards barring biological males from participating in women’s athletics.
In the aftermath of Gaines’ assault, her agent expressed shock, stating, “It is stunning that in America in 2023, it is acceptable for biological male students to violently assault a woman for standing up for women’s rights.” Following the revelation that she had been verbally and physically attacked by protestors at the university, SFSU President Lynn Mahoney shared a different perspective, asserting that the event had been “deeply traumatic” for the transgender community.
In a letter to the campus community, Mahoney wrote, “Last Thursday, Turning Point USA hosted an event on campus that advocated for the exclusion of trans people and athletics. The event was deeply traumatic for many in our trans and LGBTQ+ communities, and the speaker’s message outraged many members of the SF State community,” as reported by KRON4. Notably, Gaines has defended her speech, maintaining that it was peaceful.
DeSantis slams NCAA and Lia Thomas, declares Florida swimmer 'rightful winner'?????
— Gary ULTRA MAGA 2024 (@GarysBlues) March 23, 2022
Back in January 2021, President Biden issued an executive order directing students to participate in sports teams and use restrooms according to their gender identity rather than their biological sex. In response, House Republicans introduced the “Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act,” which aims to prevent biological males from competing in female athletics in schools nationwide.
The proposed legislation intends to define “sex” in sports as “based solely on a person’s reproductive biology and genetics at birth.” It is anticipated that the bill will reach the House floor for a vote in the coming week.
Nobody would watch
— James (@James500k) April 14, 2023
The ongoing debate over allowing transgender athletes to compete in women’s sports continues to be a contentious issue, particularly among conservative circles. As this discussion evolves, it is crucial for all parties to engage in respectful discourse to ensure the protection and dignity of every individual involved.