ESPN celebrated Women’s History Month by honoring transgender swimmer Lia Thomas.
William “Lia” Thomas was a mediocre swimmer who couldn’t win medals competing as a man. He decided he was transgender and suddenly, he’s a champion!
Thomas competed for two full seasons as a man before ‘transitioning’ into a female, shattering women’s swim records and becoming a champion in the women’s 500 freestyle at the NCAA swimming championships last year.
Former collegiate swimmer Riley Gaines has been a brave voice in trying to stop men from erasing women in athletics.
Gaines responded ESPN’s insult to women via Twitter, “Lia Thomas is not a brave, courageous woman who earned a national title,” Gaines, an outspoken advocate for keeping biological men out of women’s sports. He is an arrogant cheat who stole a national title from a hardworking, deserving woman. The @ncaa is responsible. If I was a woman working at ESPN, I would walk out. You’re spineless @espn #boycottESPN.”
The women at ESPN have been largely silent except for a few brave voices.
Earlier this month, SportsCenter anchor Sage Steele shared support for Gaines after the disgusting abuse she faced after a speech at San Francisco State University.
Stay strong @Riley_Gaines_ …you have more people than you know supporting you & standing up to this madness. https://t.co/Tyj2RAHNLQ
— Sage Steele (@sagesteele) April 7, 2023
ESPN host Samatha Ponder also weighed in with support for Gaines.
On Wednesday, ESPN host Samantha Ponder, 37, also supported Gaines in opposition of bill presented by the Biden administration earlier this month.
The proposed update to Title IX legislation would prohibit blanket bans of transgender athletes competing against women.
“Under the guise of competitive fairness?” Gaines asked in a tweet showing a video of former Penn swimmer Lia Thomas calling a bill from the Biden administration a “good start,” but also calling for the bill to extend beyond Kindergarten through eighth grade and apply to high school and college athletes as well.
This would take away so many opportunities for biological women and girls in sports. It is a shame that we are needing to fight for the integrity of Title IX in 2023 and the reason it was needed in the first place. #savewomensports https://t.co/5Ufeha2emq
— Samantha Steele Ponder (@samponder) April 19, 2023