Outspoken advocate for women's sports Riley Gaines and Babylon Bee CEO Seth Dillon have promised to compensate women who lose prize money because of trans athletes competing in women's sports. As a former University of Kentucky swimmer, Gaines knows what it's like to lose races, awards, and prizes to men who say they are trans, and she backs women who refuse to compete against trans-identified male athletes in female divisions.
Gaines has been fearless in her fight against biological males who take opportunities away from women in sports.
"Any woman who doesn't compete and loses out on prize money, I will happily pay the fee out of my own pocket. In any sport," Gaines wrote. "Stop. Playing. Their. Game."
In response, Dillon added that he would match Gaines’ contribution to female athletes.
"I've discussed this with Riley and think this is an excellent way to embolden women to fight back. You don't have to give up your prize money when you stand up to men taking over your sports — in fact, you'll make even more because I'll match Riley's contribution, doubling it."
The proposal came in response to two trans-identified male cyclists winning the top two spots in the Illinois State Cyclocross Championship’s Women’s Singlespeed race, with the same two biological male athletes frequently winning first and second place in the ongoing Chicago CycloCross Cup that took place throughout the fall.
Tim Pool of Timcast previously made a similar promise in 2022 after skateboarder Taylor Silverman spoke out about competing against male opponents who joined women's competitions by saying they were trans. Silverman lost out on prize money after the trans-identified male won. Pool vowed to pay Silverman the $2,250 difference in prize money that she could have won if the male was not in the division, and followed through weeks later, presenting the athlete with a check.
Gaines experienced firsthand competing against a biological male during the 2022 NCAA swimming championship, in which the former University of Kentucky swimmer tied for fifth place with former UPenn swimmer and biological male Lia Thomas.
The NCAA handed Thomas the trophy for the podium picture, and told Gaines that hers would be coming in the mail at a later date. They also placed Gaines on the sixth-place podium slot for the photo, giving the appearance that Thomas had placed above her. In women's sport, a man was given priority.
Gaines wrote on Tuesday, "I believe everything happened for a reason, but I wish I realized what a slippery slope this was when we were told to smile & step aside so a man could have our place on the podium. My actions would be different now and I wouldn't compete. I know it's easier said than done, but sacrifices are necessary for a greater good. That being said, this burden shouldn't be placed entirely on female athletes. Coaches/parents/male athletes should take a stand if they believe women deserve fair sport and equal opportunities."
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