In an interview with Fox News’ "American Reports" on Wednesday, former University of Kentucky swimmer Riley Gaines, who tied with transgender University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas at the 2022 NCAA championships, recalled being exposed to Thomas’ "male genitalia" in a women’s locker room after a swim meet.
"We were not forewarned beforehand that we would be sharing a locker room with Lia. We did not give our consent. They did not ask for our consent. But in that locker room, we turned around and there's a 6’4" biological man dropping his pants and watching us undress and we're exposed to male genitalia," Gaines recalled.
"And so that to me was worse than the competition piece," Gaines, a 12-time All-American and five-time SEC champion, added.
Thomas was seen rocketing through the women’s swim ranks last year during Thomas’ first season competing in the women’s division. Previously, Thomas had competed on the male swim team.
Thomas’ season culminated in qualifying for the NCAA championships, where Thomas won the 500-yard freestyle race, and tied with Gaines in the 200-yard freestyle race.
While on the podium for the race, Gaines, who tied with Thomas for fifth place, was told that Thomas would be given the fifth place trophy to hold, and she would receive the sixth place trophy to hold on the podium. Her fifth place trophy was to be sent in the mail.
"Not even probably a year or two years ago, this would have been considered some form of sexual assault, voyeurism. But now, not even are they just allowing it to happen, it's almost as if these large organizations are encouraging it to happen," Gaines continued.
"Of course, after NCAA championships, the NCAA then nominated Thomas for NCAA Woman of the Year. So we're celebrating this movement. This isn't something that happened by chance on a one off basis. They're encouraging men to compete in women's sports," she added.
America Reports host John Roberts noted that after graduating in May of 2022, Gaines had hoped to go to dental school. In the aftermath of Lia Thomas though, Gaines has decided to put dental school on hold to advocate for women’s sports remaining a place for biological females.
Roberts questioned why more women weren’t speaking out against the inclusion of biological males, to which Gaines said, "you know, people are terrified, especially speaking from my experience of talking to other NCAA swimmers specifically, Lia Thomas’ teammates even."
"They're told their school has made their stance for them. They're told that if they feel uncomfortable seeing male genitalia in the locker room, then they should seek counseling resources. They're told that they will never get into grad school if they speak out. All of these terrible awful things that aren't true. They're told of course, they'll be called a bigot and hateful and transphobic," said Gaines.
"But it doesn't make you any of those things to acknowledge that there are two sexes. You cannot change your sex and women deserve respect and equal opportunities," Gaines concluded.
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