Penn Women Reportedly Considered Boycotting Season’s Final Home Meet On Jan. 8

Several members of the University of Pennsylvania women’s swimming team considered boycotting their final home meet of the season in protest of Lia Thomas‘ ability to compete as a woman, according to a report from The Daily Mail.

According to the report, a group of swimmers on the team wanted to make a statement regarding their opposition to the NCAA transgender policy that allows Thomas, a trans woman, to compete in women’s swimming.

“They’ve been ignored by both Penn and the NCAA, and there is a feeling among some of the girls that they should make some sort of statement, seize the opportunity while they have a spotlight on them to make their feelings about the issue known,” a source told The Daily Mail.

The swimmers ultimately decided against a boycott, fearing it would put their place on the roster for the Ivy League Championships—where 17 of the team’s 41 swimmers will compete—at risk.

“Knowing they do not have backing from the school or NCAA, they’re reluctant to jeopardize their opportunity to make the elite Ivy League squad,” the source said.

This particular group of swimmers also don’t want to cause a rift with some of their teammates that do support Thomas’ participation, according to one of The Daily Mail‘s sources.

Read the full report here.

Penn’s final home meet of the season is scheduled for January 8 against Dartmouth.

The NCAA transgender policy dictates that a trans woman can compete on a women’s team provided they’ve undergone a minimum of one year of testosterone suppression. Thomas has been undergoing treatment for the last two and a half years.

On Tuesday, former USC head coach Dave Salo called the policy “an assault on women’s sports.”

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New Age Swimmer
17 days ago

Fortnite

back breast fly free
Reply to  New Age Swimmer
17 days ago

major if true

swammer
Reply to  New Age Swimmer
17 days ago

huge if true

Dg_rice
Reply to  New Age Swimmer
17 days ago

Wow. Source?

BigBrain
17 days ago

Women are being silenced and there sports are being destroyed. Do you want to go down in history as someone who did nothing to stop this? This isn’t about transgenderism its about the mentality.

Pool
17 days ago

Let Lia compete but have her results go to an “Open” category. That way her times still count but she isn’t competing directly against the women. This Open category could be implemented across all age groups and divisions of swimming.
I assume that is ultimately what she wants – compete as a woman and have the chance to compete. Is her ultimate goal to bring down women’s records, or to have her own times count for herself? Just add a new category. Both sides are happy.

Last edited 17 days ago by Pool
BigBrain
Reply to  Pool
17 days ago

What about the spot that otherwise would have gone to a bio woman? Someone will be booted off the team, and a chance at a finals swim.

BearlyBreathing
Reply to  Pool
17 days ago

It’s too late for the 2021-22 season. The NCAA isn’t going to change rules mid-season.

The Questioner
Reply to  BearlyBreathing
17 days ago

Damed if you do, damed if you don’t.

Really
Reply to  Pool
17 days ago

Does she swim alone in finals? Or does she take a spot that should have been taken by someone else?
Or, maybe she is not allowed to swim in finals??

yardfan
17 days ago

Lia Thomas went through puberty as a boy. The physical benefits gained during that time stay with them FOREVER. They should create a league for transgender people.

matt
Reply to  yardfan
17 days ago

exactly

DMSWIM
Reply to  yardfan
17 days ago

While I don’t disagree with your first two statements, a league for transgender individuals is unrealistic. There aren’t enough people who are in the category for it to make sense.

Big Mac #1
Reply to  DMSWIM
17 days ago

Also, it alienates them even more. I think I would be fine with trans people’s results being mixed in with the results of their sex or being put into an open category

Fed up Swim Mom
Reply to  DMSWIM
17 days ago

Every decision in life has consequences. Why are you trying to protect Lia from the consequences of her adult decision?

DMSWIM
Reply to  Fed up Swim Mom
17 days ago

Not sure how I’m trying to protect Lia from the consequences of her adult decision. All I did was point out that a separate transgender category doesn’t make practical sense.

Jabroni Pepperoni
Reply to  DMSWIM
17 days ago

You don’t need new facilities, coaches, lane space, or any of that. Just chalk up her times to the “open” category and problem solved. Unfortunately Coleman didn’t ask the hard hitting questions, so we don’t know the answer to this, but I assume she doesn’t love the sport of swimming solely for her new found status of crushing her competition. I assume she loves the sport for all the aspects of it other than the direct comparison to others, so hopefully this “open” category satisfies everyone’s positions.

Bob Dobbalina
Reply to  DMSWIM
17 days ago

Have you seen the number of categories for para-olympics? In some cases, their are only a handful of competitors in the category, yet they still compete.

DMSWIM
Reply to  Bob Dobbalina
17 days ago

24 million people in the U.S. have a severe disability. While not all of them will qualify for parasports, many would fall into one of the para categories. An estimated 1 million Americans identify as transgender, with many of those individuals not having undergone any hormone replacement therapy. So no, the sample size is much smaller for transgender individuals.

Awsi Dooger
Reply to  DMSWIM
17 days ago

You’re wasting your time around here. Many of these commenters are addicted to media outlets where the separate category theme is pushed. So they parrot the idea, totally clueless regarding the numbers and the practicality. They are so devoted to fear-based absurdity they convince themselves that next year the number will be 5, then 10, and so forth. I remember the same right wing ignorance all the way back to Renee Richards.

Lol
Reply to  Awsi Dooger
17 days ago

And now Renee Richards think she was wrong to compete against women. So maybe it wasn’t ignorance after all.

Johnny
Reply to  Awsi Dooger
12 days ago

Renee Richard turned pro at age 43. Ascended to #20 in the world. Nothing remotely like it has ever happened, before or since. Trans women have a big advantage. I’m politically liberal.

Swimmer A
17 days ago

Trans exclusionary feminism is NOT feminism. Any measures the NCAA takes must be inclusive towards trans athletes.

Meeeeee
Reply to  Swimmer A
17 days ago

Right. So the rationale inclusion is to allow them to compete against their own chromosome makeup. Growing up in the 1970s/80s was when we began to see girls competing occasionally on guys sports teams (often baseball where the physical differences don’t matter quite as much). Today All-American swimmer McKenzie Siroky plays for her high school boys team. Once we got past the initial issue of girls on guys teams (it was a big deal back then) no one had problems with it because even the most exceptional girl athlete was average to good on a boys team. But we never saw a boy wanting to be on a girls team and i’m sure the outcry of it being unfair from… Read more »

Anonymous
Reply to  Meeeeee
17 days ago

I’ve actually seen boys playing volleyball on girls teams when their school did not have a boys volleyball team (high school varsity). However the rules were altered to not allow the boy to play front row, given that the net is higher for boys volleyball. Should he have been allowed to go to a different town to compete with a boys varsity volleyball team? I’ve also seen girls place highly in high school wrestling when their state doesn’t have a separate program for girls. They wrestle against the boys in high school wrestling. Some boys forfeit rather than wrestle against a girl. That’s the stance they are taking – it’s a no win situation for the boys…if they win, it’s… Read more »

JVW
Reply to  Anonymous
17 days ago

The problem so many have with Lia Thomas in swimming is that it is like having a 170-lb wrestler be allowed to compete in the 145-lb weight class.

Rodrigo
Reply to  JVW
17 days ago

Bingo! So many are caught up on the identity politics of the matter when we should just be focusing on the basic unfairness of it. Your analogy is perfect.

Ledecky will go 3:55 in Paris
Reply to  Anonymous
17 days ago

edited

Last edited 17 days ago by Ledecky will go 3:55 in Paris
DMSWIM
Reply to  Meeeeee
17 days ago

How do you know someone’s chromosome makeup? Are we going to chromosome test athletes now?

92-96 olymp
Reply to  DMSWIM
17 days ago

At the Olympics that is exactly what they do ( or used to 1992/96)

Beverly Drangus
Reply to  92-96 olymp
16 days ago

“do” and “used to in 1992” are so different. They used to do it, and stopped because they found it wasn’t effective. Why would we return to that now?

HJones
Reply to  Swimmer A
17 days ago

Yes, it is. It may not be your contorted, delusionary version of feminism, but recognizing that the plight and physiology of transwomen and biological women are different is not transphobic.

What do you propose to be done? Nothing? Come back to reality, “Swimmer A’.

Mr. Pack
Reply to  Swimmer A
17 days ago

Imagine having such a narrow minded worldview that you think TERF is not feminism.

Distance Per Stroke
17 days ago

They wouldnt have to because the ivies will probably cancel the rest of their seasons because of covid.

Billy
17 days ago

There are two born sexes, male and female, which include about 99.99% of the humans on earth. Common sense says let “Lia” swim against the men in NCAA competition. Having her swim against women is just plain wrong.

DMSWIM
Reply to  Billy
17 days ago

There aren’t two born sexes. There are many more than that. People can be born intersex, with chromosomes that don’t match their genitalia, or with XXY chromosomes.

Distance Per Stroke
Reply to  DMSWIM
17 days ago

Which is why he said 99.99%

Billy
Reply to  Distance Per Stroke
17 days ago

At least you get it! I imagine there are some people who are labeled “intersex”? Do they have both male and female sex organs in the same place? Someone fill me in on this one. I’ve never given this topic much thought…..

Dmswim
Reply to  Distance Per Stroke
17 days ago

But that wasn’t what he was saying. He was saying only .01% is transgender. And regardless there are more than two sexes, so that statement is incorrect.

Virtus
Reply to  Dmswim
17 days ago

No he was saying there are .01 % of a combination such as intersex or different chromosome combinations. Transgender has nothing to do with sex

HJones
Reply to  DMSWIM
17 days ago

I’m willing to bet that most people who are transgender are not intersex.

DMSWIM
Reply to  HJones
17 days ago

I agree. By definition they are two separate things. All I’m saying is that Billy’s assertion that there are two sexes is scientifically incorrect, and once we start defining sex/gender categories in sports, we have to decide how we will handle people that biologically do not fit into male or female categories. I’m not saying it can’t be done. The NCAA and IOC can develop guidelines. Just saying that it’s not as simple as people like Billy make it out to be.

Lol
Reply to  DMSWIM
17 days ago

It’s not that difficult and certainly something that rules can and should address.
– there are XY women born that have no testosterone receptors (CAIS) – generally very thin – their body is not able to use the testosterone in their body and they present as women and would not have male biological advantage – this would be the one exception to a Y chromosome in women’s competition.
– other XY women are biologically male but don’t present male sex development normally (just develop internally), essentially go through male puberty with testosterone and maintain elevated testosterone levels. They should compete against men.
Other DSDs that I’m aware of make athletic competition pretty unlikely.

Real
17 days ago

Is Lia doing something against the rules or is she competing within the framework of the rules. Lswsuits?

Braden Keith(@braden)
Admin
Reply to  Real
17 days ago

She is competing within the rules of the NCAA (and was actually on HRT longer than prescribed by the rules before joining the women’s team).

Any lawsuit would have to be with the…NCAA? I suppose? Maybe someone could force something onto UPenn. Nothing Lia can be sued for – she’s following the rules.

Coach Tom
Reply to  Real
17 days ago

No, she isn’t, and that’s a big part of the issue. Lia Thomas is forced to deal with attacks and criticism when the reality is that she really can’t and shouldn’t be blamed for following the rules. People should direct their ire at the NCAA for creating standards and guidelines that were inevitably going to lead to this problem. I’m not sure what the perfect solution is but any reasonable person could have foreseen that requiring an athlete who spent 20+ years as a man to only undergo a year of HRT is not going to result in a level playing field.

Lkg4dmcrc
Reply to  Coach Tom
17 days ago

While she is following the rules, she knows the rules are not fair. She grew up swimming so knows that 8 and under A times are the same for boys and girls and gradually the boys AAAA- BB time standards become about 10% faster than girls time standards – puberty is the biggest factor. She knows that at some point after she went through male puberty the females on her team no longer could swim in her lane and she was always faster than the girls. She knows time standards and qualifying times for Olympic trials in her signature event are 1 minute and 9 seconds faster for men than women. She knows that she can easily obtain time standards… Read more »

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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