The topic of transgender athletes in women’s sports has been a topic that is extremely divisive, with many differing opinions on both sides of the argument of whether they should be allowed to compete against naturally born females. Former NCAA swimmer Riley Gaines made her opinion on the matter very clear on social media recently.
Gaines took to social media to issue a message to transgender NCAA swimmer Lia Thomas, who notably became the first openly transgender athlete to win an NCAA Division I National Championship in 2022.
A video of an anti-transgender activist, Kellie-Jay Keen was posted on social media that shows Keen shouting a message at Lia Thomas, calling Thomas a man while Thomas was speaking after a swimming performance.
Riley Gaines responded to this video on social media, praising Keen for her “fearlessness” to speak her mind about Thomas.
“She’s my role model,” Gaines tweeted. “The word fearless gets tossed around a lot, but Kellie-Jay Keen is the embodiment of it. She was at the NCAA Championships and was the first I had seen to unapologetically and loudly call Thomas what he is… a man. She showed me it’s not hard to say that.”
She's my role model! The word fearless gets tossed around a lot, but Kellie-Jay Keen is the embodiment of it.
She was at the NCAA championships and was the first I had seen to unapologetically and loudly call Thomas what he is…a man. She showed me it's not hard to say that. https://t.co/XpwYMEIp4U pic.twitter.com/A9EL0tayjt
— Riley Gaines (@Riley_Gaines_) September 16, 2023
This is far from the first time that Gaines has spoken out against Thomas, previously blasting a supporter of transgender athletes in women’s sports earlier this month.
Gaines notably competed in NCAA swimming as recently as 2022, competing for the Kentucky Wildcats and even being named the 2022 Southeastern Conference Women’s Swimming and Diving Scholar-Athlete of the Year.