NCAA swimmer Riley Gaines joined Fox News' Tucker Carlson on Monday and reacted to trans athlete Lia Thomas being nominated for "Woman of the Year."
"It's a mockery. That's what this whole thing has turned into," Gaines told Carlson.
"It's something we as female athletes have dedicated our whole lives to. It's something that people are laughing at. It's an insult. It's incredibly disheartening. And quite frankly, it's wrong," Gaines said.
Trans athlete Lia Thomas, a biological male, was nominated on Saturday for the NCAA Woman of the Year Award. Thomas has been at the height of controversy since she joined the University of Pennsylvania's women's swim team, and shattered national records after dominating biological female competitors during the NCAA championships.
"I mean, we have an NCAA Woman of the Year who spent 95 percent of their life as a male. That just doesn't add up," Gaines said. "It's incredibly insulting."
"Think of all the athletes at UPenn, the deserving female athletes who did not get this nomination, and Thomas did after quite literally only one year. Woman of the Year! It makes sense because it's been one year Thomas has spent as a female," Gained told Carlson. "It's a punch in the gut. It's a slap to the face. And it's a total regression of what Title Nine stands for."
The University of Kentucky swimmer told Tucker Carlson that she was also nominated for NCAA Women of the Year but "laughed" when she opened the letter.
Thomas was the "first openly transgender DI NCAA champion and the first swimmer from the Penn women's team to win a national title," Swim Swam reports. Despite the win, no female swimmers from UPenn have won a national title.
The finalists for the NCAA Woman of the Year Award will be announced in September, with the final award recipient selected from that group.
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