EXCLUSIVE: Riley Gaines slams Gov. Spencer Cox at TPUSA's University of Utah event after his veto of bill barring men from women's sports

The collegiate swimmer's message focused on not bending to policies that would allow men in women's sports.


At a Turning Point USA event at the University of Utah, Riley Gaines called out Utah Governor Spencer Cox for vetoing a bill that barred trans-identified males from women’s sports in the state. The state legislature later overturned his veto.   

“Now 24 states have enacted some fairness in women’s sports bill that ultimately protects sports on the basis of sex.”  

“Your wonderful governor here, in this state, vetoed this legislation,” Gaines added. “You want to know what his excuse was? — I’m watching the press conference — He said he wanted to err on the side of compassion.”  

“I’ve got a question for you Governor Cox: Who are you being compassionate towards? Because it’s not women." Gaines added, speaking to the crowd. "It’s not your daughters. He doesn't care about them. Is it compassionate to ask a young girl to undress in front of a man? Is that what compassion is? We must have two totally different definitions of compassion and inclusion.”  

Around the time of Cox’s decision to veto the bill in spring of 2022, he stated, "We care deeply about Utah's female athletes and our LGBTQ+ community." 

The Utah legislature later overruled his veto, turning the bill into law. 

Gaines reiterated that people in the state need to call out their leaders even when they are a Republican. 

The Post Millennial spoke with Gaines about her overarching message to young girls and what drives her.  

When asked about her main message was for young girls, Gaines responded, "Play sports, like I said, everyone should play sports. I certainly believe there's so much value in that."   

"Secondly, is to not get discouraged," she said referring to any young woman who has come up against trans-identified males in sports.  

She added, "Too often people walk on eggshells, we want to be kind we want to be nice; we want to be empathetic, which are all great things and their true nature." 

“They are what makes women so—that makes them great mothers, it makes them great wives, and sisters and daughters, all the things. But that doesn't mean become a mat for people to walk on or walk all over. So, I hope every young girl can think independently and call out an injustice when she sees it.”  

During her speech, Gaines told the crowd that her message doesn't just apply to sports, but that women in prison are also subject to trans-identified men entering their spaces.   

“Make no mistake, this is so much broader than just women’s sports.”  

“This has infiltrated into prisons now where all women’s prisons, are running rampant with AIDs, because males who are convicted of heinous things – the majority of the time being sexual crimes – they understand the quickest way to get into a women’s prison – which sounds awesome to a rapist – is to say, ‘I’m a woman.’  

Gaines told The Post Millennial that her faith as a Christian is fundamental to the work she's doing.

"We already know the outcome of what this is, at least from an eternal sense. And that's why I'm able to do this with a smile on my face and an incredibly light heart. It's because I know what I'm doing is the moral thing," she said. "But these past two years I've like really had my eyes open to—of course how God works." 
"He provides me with strength and wisdom and protection and guidance and direction and discernment of knowing what to say, when to say all these different things. Really an unearthly sense of these things," Gaines added. 

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