‘Standing Up For Fairness!’ Famed Football Coach Lou Holtz Praises Riley Gaines

"Riley Gaines is standing up for fairness!"
ORLANDO, FL - JANUARY 27: Lou Holtz at the SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio broadcast at the 2016 PGA Merchandise Show at Orange County Convention Center on January 27, 2016 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Gerardo Mora/Getty Images for SiriusXM)
Gerardo Mora/Getty Images for SiriusXM

Hall of Fame football coach Lou Holtz offered high praise on Thursday for women’s sports advocate Riley Gaines.

Holtz, who famously led six different college football teams to bowl games, said that Gaines is “standing up for fairness” and had strong words for men who “lie” about their sex to play sports with women.

80 years ago, men lied about their age to serve our country. Today, they lie about their sex to compete in women’s sports. It’s time to honor Title IX and protect women’s rights. [Riley Gaines] is standing up for fairness!” Holtz posted on X.

Gaines is a former University of Kentucky swimmer who tied with trans-identifying male swimmer Lia Thomas for fifth place at the 2022 NCAA championships. Gaines left the competition that day with a sixth-place trophy after officials decided to give Thomas the fifth-place trophy.

In the years since, Gaines has been a vocal advocate for women’s sports, arguing that biological men who identify as women should not be allowed to compete against women or use their locker rooms.

She has spoken out against the Biden administration’s rewrite of Title IX, the 1972 federal civil rights law prohibiting sex-based discrimination at schools receiving federal funding.

“In a nutshell, the new rewrite means, men can take academic AND athletic scholarships from women,” Gaines said. “Men will have FULL access to bathrooms, locker rooms, etc. Men could be housed in dorm rooms with women.”

“Students and faculty MUST compel their speech by requiring the use of preferred pronouns,” she continued. “If the guidelines above are ignored or even questioned, then YOU can be charged with harassment.”

Critics have brought up several serious concerns about biological males playing alongside women and girls.

Some female competitors have said they missed out on opportunities and scholarships because they lost to trans-identifying males.

Also, high school girls have been injured playing with trans-identifying males. Last year in North Carolina, a female high school volleyball player suffered severe trauma to her head and neck after a trans-identifying male player spiked a volleyball that hit her head.

Holtz’s storied career includes a long list of college football teams including a decade coaching the Fighting Irish at Notre Dame, which now has a statue of him on campus.

He also coached the teams at William & Mary, North Carolina State, University of Arkansas, University of Minnesota, and University of South Carolina. Holtz had a brief foray into the NFL in 1976 as well, coaching the New York Jets for less than a year.

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