Felipe Delgado’s daughter, an NCAA college athlete, competed against UPenn swimmer Lia Thomas, a biological male who identifies as a women and plays in women's sports, in the NCAA championships in Atlanta. His daughter faced Thomas in two 100-meter freestyle races last Friday for a shot to advance to the women's finals at the national championship in Georgia.
His daughter lost to Thomas.
In a recent interview with the Daily Wire, Delgado voiced his concerns on biologically male athletes and their impact on female competitors like his daughter, Anicka Delgado.
During qualifiers, Delgado put in a time of 48.56 seconds, finishing 48th of 65 competitors. Thomas, by comparison, swam a 47.63, placing top-10 at the race. The next day, at the preliminary races, Thomas placed 4th overall with a time of 47:37 and moved on to compete in finals. Delgado was knocked out of contention.
It’s not Thomas’ success that bothers Delgado. Instead, he believes that forcing women to compete against biological males has put strain on not only his daughter, but also a number of the other female swimmers competing in the NCAA and, more broadly, on women’s sports.
“It’s hard for a lot of kids,” Delgado said. “Standing up for the integrity of women’s sports does not make one transphobic. Women’s sports have come so far just to be thrown right back into question, and that’s what needs to be changed.”
Delgado highlighted the need to put the fairness of competition on the organization hosting the competition. That responsibility, he suggested, must be placed with the NCAA.
“I think more of the responsibility has to be put on the organization that’s allowing this to divide us and to focus on things that we shouldn’t be focusing on,” Delgado said.
The matter of biological males competing in women's sports, Delgado asserted, is a conversation that needs to happen at the gatekeeper level.
Delgado does not believe his stance on women’s sports puts him at odds with the transgender community or Lia Thomas, stating that he only wishes to engage the topic through respectful conversation. He pointed out that Thomas was an athlete who possessed clear and evident skill—a swimmer who had played within the existing rules—and, most importantly, a human being. Thomas had competed for UPenn's men's team, ranking in the 400s.
“I just feel that somebody has got to come out and say something,” he said, “but we cannot do this argument with hate. We have to do it in a conversational tone, welcoming dialogue, because that’s the only way things are really going to get resolved,” Delgado said.
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