The decade's most triggering comedy
Gaines, the former University of Kentucky All-American who tied Thomas for fifth place in last year’s NCAA 200-meter championship, has been outspoken on her opposition to biological women being forced to compete against and share locker rooms with Thomas. But in her interview with The Daily Wire’s sports podcast, Gaines said she has since become even more creeped out by her experience with Thomas, who switched from University of Pennsylvania’s men’s team to the women’s squad in 2021 after identifying as a female.
“I actually had someone send me [Thomas’] girlfriend’s Instagram page, too, which I obviously looked at,” Gaines said. “It is, in fact, a male who has transitioned, so the same type of transgender person as Lia.”
1. This is a 🧵 we never expected to write…We sat down with NCAA women’s swimmer @Riley_Gaines_ and she shared some info about Lia Thomas. So we did some digging & now we have a LOT of questions. Is THIS what the NCAA thinks a woman is? WARNING: What we found is jarring:
— Jake Crain (@JakeCrain_) February 15, 2023
“What they engage in, the different things — I mean, it’s probably too explicit to even [discuss] but it’s mind-blowing now, sitting back looking at this in front of my eyes and knowing we had to share a locker with this person,” she said.
Gaines said Thomas’ disturbing lifestyle is common knowledge among social media-savvy swimmers. Host Jake Crain followed up the interview with a deep dive into postings by Thomas and what appears to be the swimmer’s circle of friends and produced a graphic and disturbing tweet thread on what he discovered. It included allusions to strange sexual fetishes and graphic references to transgender surgeries.
Still, for Gaines, the issue has always been protecting female athletes, both from unfair competition and from feeling violated in the locker room.
“When you see a male with male parts watching you undress, it was like I thought I was missing something,” she said. “I thought, am I, like not grasping something? Why is no one talking about this? Why is the coach not sticking up for us? We did not give our consent for this.”
The NCAA worked so hard to promote Thomas that after the two tied last year, she said officials gave the only fifth-place trophy to Thomas, promising to send one in the mail to Gaines.
“It was at this moment that I realized not only were we being forced to compete against a man, we were being forced to change in a locker room with a man,” Gaines said. “We were being sidelined to validate the feelings and the identity of a man.”
“And it just felt like we were reduced to like a photo op,” she continued. “That’s kind of when I took it upon myself to really become public with my stance.” Gaines said she hears regularly from young female athletes and their parents who are turning their backs on girls’ sports out of fear they will be put in the same position Gaines was.
“They don’t want their kid competing [against boys] in sports like volleyball or softball or different contact-type stuff,” said Gaines. “It’s dangerous. And they’re worried about their kids’ safety.”
A representative for Thomas did not return an emailed request for comment.