Five West Virginia middle school girls refuse to compete against trans competitor in shot put

"It's a sad day when 13-14yr old girls have to be the adults in the room."

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On Thursday, five middle school female athletes in West Virginia staged a "step out" protest and refused to compete against a trans-identified male in the shot put event. 

In a video posted online, the girls stepped into the box when their name was called to throw, and then one by one they stepped out without throwing their shot. 

In the post, former University of Kentucky swimmer turned women rights advocate, Riley Gaines said, "It's a sad day when 13-14yr old girls have to be the adults in the room." She added, "But I couldn't be more inspired by and proud of these girls. 

"Enough is enough. The tide is turning!" Gaines concluded. 

According to Outkick, the protest was conducted at the 2024 Harrison County Middle School Championships by girls on the Bridgeport Middle School girls' track and field team. 

the protest came just two days after the United States Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that West Virginia state law banning males in female sports could not be enforced in regard to 13-year-old trans athlete Becky Pepper-Jackson, who they were competing against that day. 

In the ruling, Judge Toby Heytens said, "The defendants cannot expect that [this athlete] will countermand her social transition, her medical treatment, and all the work she has done with her schools, teachers, and coaches for nearly half her life by introducing herself to teammates, coaches, and even opponents as a boy." 

After the ruling, West Virginian female athletes spoke out about the ruling of the case brought against the state by the ACLU. In a post, Gains said, "Hey ACLU, the girls don’t want this." 

"All of these messages are from West Virginia athletes who have had to compete against this boy," She added. "History will not look kindly on the ACLU or anyone who clearly sends a message to girls that their rights don't matter." 

One of the messages Gaines posted read, "Okay so there’s this boy that’s competing with the girls." They added, "West Virginia was going to rule out on it but then they said just wait till Supreme Court does." 

"So he’s been beating us all and I’ve heard he says very inappropriate things to the girls and that he goes in the locker room with the girls," The message continued. "So I know that if there’s one person that’s going to stand up to it, it’s gonna have to be me."

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