Former NCAA swimmer Riley Gaines ripped Lia Thomas for “gaslighting” and “emotional blackmail” Wednesday, saying the transgender swimmer showed “sheer entitlement and selfishness” during a podcast appearance.
Thomas, a transgender woman who competed in the 2022 NCAA swimming championships, attacked those who oppose allowing transgender women to compete in women’s sports while supporting a transgender person’s right to transition, calling it “half-support,” during a Monday podcast with transgender swimmer Schyuler Bailar. Sixteen of Thomas’s teammates wrote the NCAA anonymously in February 2022, urging that Thomas be barred from competing.
“What Thomas is doing in this podcast is simply gaslighting people into feeling like they’re wrong for feeling uncomfortable in the locker room, feeling like they should be ok with stepping aside and smiling and allowing these men to take our spots on the podium, take our titles, take our scholarships, take away our opportunities,” Gaines, who competed against Lia Thomas as a member of the University of Kentucky’s swim team during the 2022 NCAA Championships, told “America Reports” co-hosts Sandra Smith and John Roberts.
Thomas also accused teammates at the University of Pennsylvania of being “anti-feminist” during the podcast.
“I talked to several of Thomas’s teammates, one even just yesterday after watching this podcast, who informed me the gaslighting that Thomas was portraying is what they dealt with all year last year. She’s informed me of some really heartbreaking, awful stories that resulted in emotional blackmail by both Thomas and their university into trying to silence their voices, suppress their voices, trying to make them feel guilty for wanting fair competition and safety in their sports,” Gaines continued. “The word that comes to mind when watching this podcast is sheer entitlement and selfishness and it’s utter disregard towards women.”
“They’re using the guise of feminism to sort of push transphobic beliefs,” Thomas said during the podcast.
The Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty released a letter Friday demanding answers from the Sun Prairie Area School District after a March 3 incident where a transgender woman reportedly took a shower with four 14-year-old girls.
“These are 14-year-old girls,” Gaines said when asked by Roberts about that incident. “They should never have to be in a position where they are seeing male genitalia without giving their consent. It’s mind blowing and it’s becoming more and more common.”
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