Featured Image
 Spiroview Inc/Shutterstock

Help a brave therapist being attacked by Southern Poverty Law Center: LifeFunder

PHILADELPHIA (LifeSiteNews) – A swimmer on the University of Pennsylvania’s (Penn) women’s swim team said that swimmers were threatened with being outed as “transphobic” if they complained about gender-confused athlete William “Lia” Thomas’ presence on the team, according to a new documentary put out by the Daily Wire. 

The swimmer, who wished to remain anonymous for fear of retribution, told Daily Wire commentator Matt Walsh about Penn’s attitude regarding having Thomas on the women’s team in an interview for Walsh’s new documentary What is a Woman? 

“There were a lot of things we couldn’t talk about that was concerning,” the swimmer told Walsh. Discussing some of the concerns that some of the swimmers had about Thomas, the anonymous swimmer maintained that concerns about Thomas’ presence in the locker room were not brought up due to fear of being called “transphobic.”  

If you even brought up concerns about [his presence in the locker room], you were ‘transphobic,’” said the anonymous swimmer to Walsh.  

The swimmer also said that some swimmers were concerned about fairness at swim meets. “Lia’s performance helps the University of Pennsylvania swim team,” the swimmer said. “Lia obviously helps us do better [but] the feeling of winning doesn’t feel as good anymore because it feels tainted.” 

“If you ever bring up the fact that Lia’s swimming might not be fair, you’re immediately shut down and called a hateful person or transphobic,” the swimmer told Walsh. 

When asked by Walsh if Penn knew that swimmers were upset by Thomas’ presence on the team, the swimmer said that Penn brought in someone from the school’s LGBTQ center and someone from psychological services to speak to the team about Thomas.  

“Penn actually brought in people high up in the athletic department to talk to us, brought in someone from the LGBTQ center, they brought in someone from psychological services.” Walsh, interjecting, asked “So, you’re upset, and you need some support about what’s happening, so you need psychological help?” The swimmer told Walsh that in the meeting with the people that Penn brought in, the school declared that Thomas’ presence on the team was “non-negotiable.” 

“They’ve made it pretty clear, if you speak up about it, your life will be over in some way, you’ll be blasted all over the internet as a ‘transphobe’ … you’ll never be able to get a job.” 

READ: ‘Transgender’ male swimmer denies impact of trans athletes on women’s sports

Similar complaints were made by a mother of a collegiate swimmer in February. The mother said that the swimmers felt frightened to speak out against a male competitor.  

According to the mother, the swimmers began to ask universities to exclude Thomas from swimming with women, though it had eventually become clear that not only would nothing be done about Thomas’ presence at meets, but that female swimmers were not allowed to discuss Thomas’ participation 

When their news started asking questions, the schools in each case across the Ivy League, pulled their swimmers aside and said, ‘you’re not allowed to talk about this,’ the mother explained. 

“And they’re frightened. They’re frightened of losing friends. They’re frightened of being kicked off their teams. They’re frightened of being told by their universities that they’re transphobic and hateful,” she continued 

Thomas gained notoriety last March after he won the Division 1 Women’s 500 Yard Freestyle at a National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) meet in Georgia. Réka György, a Virginia Tech swimmer and Olympic athlete who participated in the meet, wrote an open letter to the NCAA urging the organization to protect women’s sports.  

“I would like to critique the NCAA rules that allow [Thomas] to compete against us, who are biologically women,” György wrote. “Every event that transgender athlete competed in was one spot taken away from biological females throughout the meet.” 

A letter signed by a number of former Olympians, college swimmers, and coaches from the University of Arizona addressed to the NCAA followed later that month asked the organization to “rectify” the situation caused by Thomas’ participation at the meet.  

“It is hard to express the anguish the women’s swim community has experienced this past week watching the 2022 NCAA Swim and Dive Championship, the letter stated. The letter also maintained that Thomas’ “victory” caused “irrevocable damage to a sport that has transformed our own identities for the better.” 

Thomas appeared on Good Morning America Tuesday to discuss his participation at NCAA swim meets and what he hopes for the future. Contradicting evidence that gender-confused men do not harm women’s sports, Thomas maintained that his participation in women’s sports does not threaten them.  

When asked about what he wants to do in the future, Thomas said that he plans to keep swimming, and plans to enter the Olympics.

Help a brave therapist being attacked by Southern Poverty Law Center: LifeFunder