On Thursday, former University of Kentucky swimmer Kaitlynn Wheeler joined OutKicks Dan Dakich to discuss her younger sister Abigail being kicked off her YMCA swim team after protesting a male being in the female locker room.
During the interview posted on Twitter, Wheeler explained that her 16-year-old sister went into the locker room after practice one day in April "and she witnessed a man changing in her locker room, and obviously, the shock and settlement of that was scary to her. She felt unsafe, so she immediately went and told her head coach. She told him that there was a man changing in their locker room."
"She was dismissed," she continued. "She was told that there was nothing that he could do. She and my parents went to the CEO [and] the YMCA board and brought this to them and again, they were told that they couldn't do anything. They were laughed at. My sister was laughed at and told, 'You know transgenders have been around a long time, this isn't new and laughed.'"
She explained that her sister and another teammate posted signs that said, "women's rights, keep women's spaces female, and safe sport." The next day the team was told the signs were "hate speech, that was discriminatory, and disrespectful."
Her sister and teammate told them that they were "gladly part of this," and the coach told them that "he didn't feel it was appropriate for her to practice with the team anymore." The YMCA followed up with her parents to let them know she would not be allowed into the facility anymore.
To clarify how this person presented, Dakich asked, "So the guy is in there as a guy or is in there as a girl? Or is he just somebody that says, 'Hey look, today I feel like a woman so I can go wherever I want'?"
"I mean, again, that's a point I made before. If you're allowing this to happen, you're opening the door for any man to put on women's clothes and walk right into a locker room and do whatever perverted actions he pleases," she responded.
Former University of Kentucky swimmer and women's rights activist Riley Gaines responded to the video saying, "@WheelerKaitlynn is my former UK teammate and training partner who also dealt with the Lia Thomas debacle. And now, her younger sister was just banned from @ymca for not wanting to undress in front of an exposed male."
According to Outkick, the incident happened on April 27 and Abigail told them at the time, “The first time I saw them in there, he was in a woman’s swimsuit sitting in the corner of the locker room, just sitting there. Watching." She said she only saw the person in the locker room on two occasions and was not exposed to male genitalia either time, but the person was unmistakably a male.
In response to the accusations, the Springfield YMCA told Outkick in a statement, “The statement that the swimmer was removed from the Y and prevented from participating on the swim team is false. She left the swim team and the YMCA on her own.”
The Wheeler family said the club "set those criteria and boundaries to not allow us to be represented, she wasn’t able to participate with team or go into the facility. We had to quit. We had to walk away. ”
"We are living in a world where a woman’s right to sex-specific changing spaces are being tossed out the window and consent is no longer necessary. Sad to see all that Title IX was intended for is now being eradicated as well as our first amendment rights," Kaitlynn Wheeler's pinned tweet states.
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