‘It Was Terrifying For Me’: Riley Gaines Speaks Out About Harrowing Attack On Her After SFSU Speech
ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 18: University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas and Kentucky swimmer Riley Gaines react after finishing tied for 5th in the 200 Freestyle finals at the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships on March 18th, 2022 at the McAuley Aquatic Center in Atlanta Georgia. (Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Former University of Kentucky swimmer Riley Gaines spoke out about her harrowing experience at San Francisco State University after delivering a speech advocating for the rights of female athletes.

Appearing on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Friday, Gaines recounted how she was physically assaulted at the end of her remarks by trans protesters who stormed the room she was speaking in. Gaines said the officers tasked with security were intimidated by the protesters — but she said she was not intimidated, and that the violence affirms the legitimacy of her cause.

“It was terrifying for me,” she said. “The police did not inform me of any sort of action plan. Turning Point USA invited me to the campus, I delivered a very civil and respectful speech where I had great dialogue with even protesters who were participating in a sit-in. All of a sudden, after my speech, the room was stormed. The lights were turned off and I was rushed, with no one there to escort me to a safe place. I was punched, I was hit multiple times, I was shoved. And so finally, we exited the room, but we could not leave because the protesters flooded the halls, and so I was pushed into a classroom along that hallway where I was barricaded in for three hours.”

“Three hours,” Carlson repeated, stunned. “Why didn’t someone with a gun come in and bring you to safety?”

“Because they were terrified,” Gaines replied. “They were scared to put their hands on these people because they know what these people are capable of. These people yelled obscene, violent, vulgar things to both me myself and the officers, and the officers I could tell didn’t feel comfortable putting themselves in a position that would mean they do their job. Which is a really scary, chilling thought.”

“You know, I am worried about my safety,” Gaines continued. “I have to be now. When we have people who are willing to do this — and we know why they’re willing to do this, it’s because they don’t have reason, they don’t have logic, they don’t have science, they don’t have common sense on their side. That’s on my side. And so they protrude by violence, whether it’s physical or verbal violence. But what this means for me — this does not deter me. This assures me that I am doing the right thing; this will not silence me. It just means I need to speak louder.”

Gaines added that neither the Dean of Students at San Francisco State nor the campus police defended her in the aftermath. She lauded the San Francisco Police for escorting her off campus safely. She then said she would be pursuing legal action against the people who assaulted her and the people who put her in that dangerous position.


Gaines spent a harrowing night barricaded in a safe room Thursday after radical transgender activists swarmed her when she visited San Francisco State University to advocate for the rights of female athletes.

Gaines, a former University of Kentucky star who was deprived of an NCAA award by Lia Thomas, the trans-identifying University of Pennsylvania swimmer who claims to be female and competes against women, was at the school as part of a Turning Point USA event. Video on social media shows Gaines being hustled to safety by police officers as a mob of radical transgender activists follows her, shouting “Trans rights are human rights!”

“The prisoners are running the asylum at SFSU,” Gaines tweeted. “This is proof that women need sex-protected spaces. Still only further assures me I’m doing something right. When they want you silent, speak louder.”

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