After ESPN glowingly hailed transgender swimmer Lia Thomas for Women's History Month, Riley Gaines, a former NCAA All-American swimmer, shot back in a pointed rebuke of the liberal-leaning network, the biological man, and the NCAA for stealing a national title from a woman.
"Lia Thomas is not a brave, courageous woman who earned a national title," Gaines, an outspoken advocate for keeping biological men out of women's sports, tweeted Sunday. "He is an arrogant cheat who stole a national title from a hardworking, deserving woman."
Thomas was an average or below average men's collegiate swimmer in the University of Pennsylvania — a school with ties to President Joe Biden through the Penn Biden Center — before he started a transition to becoming a woman. The NCAA allowed Thomas to compete against women in last year's NCAA season.
"The @ncaa is responsible," Gaines' added in her tweet, continuing her rebuke of collegiate officials allowing a biological man to take an opportunity away from women.
She also called on women's rights advocates at ESPN, a sports network that frequently espouses liberal activist agenda and is owned by the progressive Walt Disney Company.
"If I was a woman working at ESPN, I would walk out," Gaines' tweet concluded. "You're spineless @espn #boycottESPN."
Gaines now works as spokeswoman for the Independent Women's Forum.
"I thought surely there would be someone, whether that be a coach, or another swimmer, or someone within the NCAA, I thought surely someone would stick up for us," Gaines told The Washington Examiner in February. "That's when I realized it's my duty as a female athlete who experienced this injustice to really use my voice and my platform to advocate for those female athletes who are emotionally blackmailed and gaslit into silence."
The remarks by Gaines, who was a swimmer at the University of Kentucky, come as Kentucky Democrat Gov. Andy Beshear vetoed a bill aimed at banning gender transition care for minors.
The legislation in Kentucky is part of a widespread movement, with Republican state lawmakers in other states approving extensive measures that restrict the rights of LGBTQ+ people this year, from bills targeting trans athletes and drag performers to measures limiting gender-affirming care.
Kentucky's GOP-dominated legislature passed the bill by lopsided margins. Lawmakers will reconvene next week for the final two days of this year's session, when they could vote to override the veto.
Republicans took immediate aim at the governor's veto, saying he veered too far for most Kentuckians.
Republican Party of Kentucky spokesperson Sean Southard asked: "Is Andy Beshear the governor of Kentucky or California?"
Southard predicted the governor will pay a political price for his action.
"Once this campaign is over, today may very well be remembered as the day Andy Beshear lost his bid for reelection," Southard said Friday.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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