Pro Swimmers Pebley, Groves Speak Out In Support of Lia Thomas, Trans Inclusion

A pair of Olympians and current professional swimmers have spoken up in support of Lia Thomas in the ongoing debate of whether or not trans women should be allowed to compete against biological females in athletics.

2016 U.S. Olympian Jacob Pebley and two-time Australian Olympic medalist Madeline Groves became the first current pros to speak out in support of Thomas publicly on Wednesday, with Pebley posting a statement on Instagram and Groves giving her opinion over a series of IG Stories.

Thomas, a trans woman, competed on the University of Pennsylvania men’s team for three seasons before transitioning over a two-year period before beginning to race as a woman in 2021-22.

Pebley, 28, criticized those who have been normalizing discrimination in the debate, and pointed to the high suicide rate among the trans community as a reason to have empathy towards the psychological disadvantages someone like Thomas must be experiencing.

Pebley was open about the mental health struggles he’s had in the past, which led him to forgo competing at the 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials.

Full Pebley Statement:

“First of all, I don’t think it is brave to normalize discrimination. Veiling discrimination of a minority party with empathy and ‘understanding’ is never going to be tolerated in my book,” Pebley said. “If we really understood what Lia and many other trans people are feeling we wouldn’t be making posts that essentially read as ‘I hear you but you can’t play with us.’

“At the very least you should be providing some feedback towards changing the rule you are in disagreement with and directing at the governing bodies that can change those rules.

“The second and more important part is mental health. As someone who has struggled with mental health, I, like many others, have said the cruelest things about myself and have gotten near taking my own life. The trans community has an extremely high suicide rate because of discrimination like what is going on within the swimming community.

“I shudder to think what Lia is not only thinking about herself but also all the young trans swimmers seeing their role models advocate for excluding them from competing in alignment with their identity. If you think the psychological advantage is so great, I urge you to consider the psychological disadvantage she and many others are facing currently.

“Long story short, in athletics, the playing field is never fair. Lia isn’t breaking any rules so please treat her and the entire trans community with more respect next time you want to be public about your opinion because it has much greater consequences than points on a scoreboard.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Jacob Pebley (@jacob.pebley)

Groves, who also opted not to compete for a spot on her nation’s Olympic team last year and later revealed in December that someone still working in swimming molested her, posted a series of Instagram Stories responding to comments on a post from Schuyler Bailar, who was the first trans male to compete at the NCAA Division I level as a swimmer with Harvard back in 2015.

Comments have since been removed on the post, entitled “Trans Athletes Belong In Sport,” but Groves posted the following comments on her Stories:

“It’s so sad to me to see apparently educated people use their platform to post transphobic dribble – what the f*** gives you the right to decide who can play sport? Athletes are traditionally self-centered but using bigotry to justify excluding an entire group of people from sport is just disgusting.

“If you’re too threatened to compete alongside trans women, you’re a selfish coward that probs wasn’t that good at sport in the first place.”

Groves also shared the following comment she made after all comments on the post were removed:

On the other side of the discussion, pro swimmer Gabby DeLoof posted a statement on Instagram echoing the sentiment Erika Brown put forth last week, saying that, while she supports the LGBTQ+ community, “we cannot allow transgender females to compete against biological women.”

The post received positive comments from Brown, along with Gabby’s sisters, Ali and Catie, who are also currently professional swimmers and former members of the University of Michigan Wolverines in the NCAA.

Full DeLoof Statement

“I want to share something that has been on my mind regarding women in sport. I have muted my voice out of fear of what others would do and say about me and how it would impact my stance as a professional swimmer. But, I am no longer allowing myself to sit back and not stand up for what I believe in.

“First, I want to say that I support the LGBTQ+ community and that we are all God’s children, called to love another. I am not creating any hate, only speaking up for what is right.

“We cannot allow transgender females to compete against biological women. A biological male goes through male puberty, thus developing the physiology of a male. According to Forbes, “the trans women’s strength, lean body mass and muscle were still greater than the levels found in cisgender women, even after 36 months on testosterone blocks” (Elsesser, 2021).

“I believe sport is a great part of someone’s life and I firmly believe all transgender females can compete in sport, just not against biological women.

“It is time to start standing up for women’s sports before we lose what so many before us have fought for. I hope this message can help inspire others to speak up for what is right.”

You can find DeLoof’s post here.

The NCAA’s transgender policy allows trans women to compete on a women’s team if they’ve completed a minimum of one year of testosterone suppression treatment. Thomas has been undergoing treatment for the last two and a half years.

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LGBTQ Inclusion
16 days ago

Instead of “We cannot allow transgender females to compete against biological women”.
How about: “We need to figure out a more fair way to have transgender females compete against biological women”.

katie’s gator cap :)
Reply to  LGBTQ Inclusion
16 days ago

PERIOD!!

Landen
Reply to  katie’s gator cap :)
16 days ago

Hey I know you on Twitter!

John
Reply to  LGBTQ Inclusion
16 days ago

How many trans women are physically capable of competing agains biological males at the Olympic level?

A fair way?

Taa
Reply to  John
16 days ago

Well if you are going to do it one way then you need to also include the other so that Harvard swimmer from a few years ago should have gotten a March invite because prior to transitioning he was at that level competing on the women’s side.

Anonymous
Reply to  Taa
16 days ago

Actually, he never competed for the womens team collegiately, so he didn’t earn an invite.

Peace Out
Reply to  John
16 days ago

I misread this and it got incorrect votes. I agree that a male body on HRT is at a disadvantage to men not on HRT, but it is equally correct to say that a male body on HRT is more closely related to bio males than bio women.
Lia is a perfect example along with a long list of others that trans have a huge advantage over biological women.
Drugs altering a human body and figuring out how to make that fair is an impossible task.

masterchief
Reply to  Peace Out
16 days ago

You sure about that masterchief? Pre HRT, Lia’s best time in the 500 free was 4:18.72. Since HRT, her best time is 4:34.06.

So that means that, even if we pretend that pre-HRT Lia Thomas wouldn’t have improved in two and a half years, that you think the “fair” time for Lia post-HRT competing with women is 4:51 or better. And again, I think it’s a fair assumption to assume that without HRT, Lia is at least a 4:15 at this point (which puts you at about 4:54).

That math doesn’t work out.

I do agree that she has an advantage over women. But, I disagree specifically with your point that she’s closer to the men than the women at… Read more »

Peace Out
Reply to  masterchief
16 days ago

You would be statistically incorrect. Her percentage decrease in times is smaller than the difference between men and women.

masterchief
Reply to  Peace Out
16 days ago

No see, you’re just trying really hard to parrot Nancy Hogshead, but you can’t even do that right.

Pretty rich from the “think for yourself” crowd.

What you’ve said is “she’s closer to the men’s times than the women’s times.” That’s incorrect

What Nancy said is “the time she’s added post-HRT is less than the gap between men and women.” That’s correct, even if it’s intentionally glossing over some details that reduce the impact of her math.

“but it is equally correct to say that a male body on HRT is more closely related to bio males than bio women” – since this whole conversation is about using times as a euphemism for biology, that’s almost definitely incorrect. Nancy Hogshead… Read more »

Peace Out
Reply to  masterchief
16 days ago

You aren’t remotely right.
A male body on HRT is closer to a male body than a female body period – chromosomes, physiology, build, anatomically, the list is endless… don’t tell me or any physician or scientist otherwise.
Just go look up how much women improve at this age – look at the curve. I’m not parroting anyone. I used her data, it’s valid. Lia is closer to her male times than she would be if someone converted those times to female performance equivalents relative to competition. Seeing as that is the ONLY data available to determine if this idea is fair at all, there is nothing else to look at.

jeff
Reply to  masterchief
16 days ago

accounting for a year and a half of training and feeling less gender dysphoria, I think 4:15 is a perfect reasonable estimate for where Thomas would’ve been. That time is 1.34% slower than the NCAA A cut for the 500 free, and the corresponding time that’s 1.34% slower than the women’s A cut is about a 4:39 but I’ll round to 4:40.

Assuming its like linear, that would make 4:27.5 the cutoff point, where slower than that is “closer to a woman” and faster is “closer to a man”. I think that even without this math, your point that Thomas’ current times are closer to a woman’s than they are to a man’s should be pretty obviously true but… Read more »

Lol
Reply to  jeff
16 days ago

Hahaha – women don’t drop that percentage of time like a guy at age 22…and your logic doesn’t account for how many people bunch up around times in men vs women events.. you make too many assumptions to be relevant.

JennyAnyDots
Reply to  jeff
15 days ago

Not one bit of that makes a male person female.

Taa
Reply to  masterchief
16 days ago

I’m not getting sucked into this argument except to say we need a lot more data before we can start analyzing and discussing what trans person is capable of.

JennyAnyDots
Reply to  Taa
15 days ago

No we don’t. Women’s sports are for female people. Period. You cannot address one group’s marginalization but increasing the marginalization of another.

JennyAnyDots
Reply to  masterchief
15 days ago

Estrogen doesn’t shorten bones, reduce lung and heart capacity, reduce proportion of fast twitch muscle fibers, narrow the pelvis, shrink the ribcage and collarbones. Women are not merely weak men. We are a distinct class of our own that does not include males, no matter how they identify.

Peace Out
Reply to  LGBTQ Inclusion
16 days ago

Your intention is what we all wish for bc it would be the easiest route, but there really will not be a way to measure that and ensure it is fair. You are advocating for the ability to truly change sex and, like it or not, we can’t peal off that layer of ourselves. It’s time for us to get creative about celebrating bodies that have been altered by drugs and surgery and those that haven’t and not stigmatize that difference.

Peace Out
Reply to  Peace Out
16 days ago

I should have added … not stigmatize that difference by allowing them to compete in separate categories.

HDubs
Reply to  LGBTQ Inclusion
15 days ago

There is no fair way. Women’s sports are not a resource for people who are male.

Virtus
16 days ago

Pebley makes some good points tbh. Is it rlly worth it to be so loud about something that’s already unfair to begin with if it’s gonna jeopardize her health or life. Still agree the rules should be changed but not sure how to go about that.

zdhamme86
Reply to  Virtus
16 days ago

He really does make some well thought out and empathetic points. He is also a male who will not potentially miss out on finaling or winning events at NCAAs.

This is a very intricately complex issue and I hope whatever solution is found is as fair and inclusive as possible for all.

Dee
Reply to  zdhamme86
16 days ago

“I hope whatever solution is found is as fair and inclusive as possible for all” – Therein lies the problem, because that outcome isn’t possible. We all know the “issue” itself is not complex at all, it’s rather clearcut as a standalone. The complexity lies in inclusivity and where we set the boundaries for it, and the end result is that we’re trying to square a circle.

Last edited 16 days ago by Dee
zdhamme86
Reply to  Dee
16 days ago

Good point. I appreciate your perspective.

Swimmer
Reply to  Virtus
16 days ago

what about the mental health of individuals who are assigned female at birth, who are woman? do their lives and mental health not matter? trans woman’s mental health is more important?

jdsmitty1
Reply to  Swimmer
16 days ago

I can assure you that the hatred, discrimination, and disrespect that transgender and LGBTQ+ people both in the swim community and in general are far, far more impactful to someone’s mental health than any placement in a swim meet.

Troyy
Reply to  jdsmitty1
16 days ago

Don’t bring us gay people into this.

dan
Reply to  Troyy
15 days ago

King

JennyAnyDots
Reply to  jdsmitty1
15 days ago

If placement at a swim meet doesn’t matter, then Thomas can compete in the men’s competitions like all others sharing the same sex.

yardfan
Reply to  Virtus
16 days ago

Pebley is not a woman. He does not get the unfairness that women athletes face by having to compete against an athlete that was born biologically male.

Joe-joe
Reply to  yardfan
16 days ago

But he’s a human who understands what it feels like to have mental health problems in competitive sports and is simply reminding others to be cognizant of that. Isn’t that a good thing? Does he have to be female to be an advocate for trans folks and the importance of being kind?

JennyAnyDots
Reply to  Joe-joe
15 days ago

Where is your consideration for any mental health problems the women on the team (and the woman who didn’t make the team to make room for Thomas) might have? Where is your kindness when it comes to their ability to compete in the sporting division specifically and exclusively reserved for them? Why does everyone always try to build their kind inclusion on women’s backs? Oh right, misogyny.

Peace Out
Reply to  Virtus
16 days ago

He is entirely dismissive of the mental health of women relative to the trans community. How the hell does he know what it’s like to be a woman and the psychological strain of being female? We just get through Larry Nassar and now we have to listen to mansplaining about how hard life is for another segment of society and we don’t have it so bad. How loud do we have to be? There is no dignity in a male body beating a female body, there is no psychological aid we as women provide by allowing that to happen.
Jacob Pebley has never spent months of life curled over in menstrual cramps, performed poorly on a test or in… Read more »

concerned
Reply to  Peace Out
16 days ago

Whoa whoa whoa. NEVER assume someone hasn’t been a victim of sexual assault. You do not know that.

Peace Out
Reply to  concerned
16 days ago

That is my point. Even if he has, he has not from a woman’s perspective. They are different experiences. Even individually, but most certainly a man cannot understand or speak for a woman’s experience.

Last edited 16 days ago by Peace Out
Virtus
Reply to  Peace Out
16 days ago

Fair points

Catherine
Reply to  Virtus
16 days ago

I thought the statement was completely tone deaf. It seems to be in support of emotional blackmail – “I might kill myself if I don’t get …..” – and completely ignores the impact this issue has on women in sports.

JennyAnyDots
Reply to  Virtus
15 days ago

I’m sorry, you think not being able to swim with women will jeopardize someone’s life? What happens to the woman who lost out on a spot on the team because Thomas took it? Is that jeopardizing her health or life? Would you care if it did?

B1Ggy
16 days ago

“If you’re too threatened to compete alongside trans women, you’re a selfish coward that probs wasn’t that good at sport in the first place.”
What????? Take an NFL middle linebacker and put him in peewee football, any kids afraid to get hit by them probably weren’t good in the first place.

Joe Bagodonuts
Reply to  B1Ggy
16 days ago

The gist of Groves’ position is: “Anyone who disagrees with my view is stupid, dumb, and has an intense fear of transgender people.” Very mature.

Troyy
Reply to  Joe Bagodonuts
16 days ago

Yes, she comes off as quite immature. Instead of telling people to educate themselves she should make an actual argument and just saying someone’s opinion isn’t factual isn’t an argument. I’m also glad she has given them permission to have an opinion!

SwimFan49
Reply to  B1Ggy
16 days ago

Yeah, that was a pretty dumb comment, particularly given the outrage among many swimmers over having to compete against others who are doping or using performance enhancers. Are they selfish cowards, too, probably not good enough to compete in the first place?

enchantedrock
16 days ago

On this super complex issue, Pebley speaks with personal authority and in a manner that can be heard. Thank you. Ms. Groves, on the other hand, does her side no favors, if indeed she really even cares about educating people..

dan
Reply to  enchantedrock
16 days ago

Personal authority?

Noah
16 days ago

Fight and speak out against NCAA’s rules, not Lia Thomas.

dan
Reply to  Noah
16 days ago

Perfectly ok to fight and speak out against Lia Thomas. I know men like to treat women like children; but Lia is a grown woman and obviously very intelligent due to her being at Penn, she knows exactly why there is pushback against her competing. By all means speak out against the NCAA too, but Lia should not be absolved of this in the least bit.

zdhamme86
Reply to  dan
16 days ago

Yikes. Lia has not done anything to deserve being fought or spoken out against. She is an athlete following the current rules of this sport.

dan
Reply to  zdhamme86
16 days ago

Rules don’t dictate what is morally or ethically wrong. Lia is following the rules, but it still acting immorally and unethically by competing against cisgendered women.

ACC
Reply to  dan
16 days ago

Yes, because your morals and ethics are shared by literally everyone in the world. Give me a break.

Dan
Reply to  ACC
16 days ago

You probably thought it was perfectly ok for Billy Madison to destroy those little kids in dodgeball.

zdhamme86
Reply to  dan
16 days ago

I get what you’re saying, but I don’t think there are too many competitive athletes out there who would go out of their way to fight for a rule change that could/would negatively impact their level of success.

The Questioner
Reply to  zdhamme86
16 days ago

Fair point

jdsmitty1
Reply to  dan
16 days ago

As a queer person formerly in a men’s sport, I remember as I was coming to understand my identity the hatred that athletes like Jason Collins and Michael Sam faced when they came out. That made me so ashamed of myself that I contemplated suicide. This is very similar, if not on a bigger level. This is more than just Lia: this is every LGBTQ+ swimmer out there. Think about the disproportionately high number of trans people that commit suicide before you say things like this next time.

Troyy
Reply to  jdsmitty1
16 days ago

I’m gay and the issues we experience are very much not the same so please stop conflating them.

Tim Barth
16 days ago

I bet Groves would change her tune if Thomas was in line to take a worlds/olympic/championship spot away from her. Easy to cast stones out in the middle of the ocean.

Mr. Pack
16 days ago

TBH, Pebley, your opinion really does not matter because it doesn’t affect you. Cool social media post though.

ACC
Reply to  Mr. Pack
16 days ago

So your opinion doesn’t matter either? Or are you a woman currently competing in the NCAA against her?

Last edited 16 days ago by ACC
Joe Bagodonuts
Reply to  Mr. Pack
16 days ago

On Mr. Pack’s theory, then, only transwomen and cis women swimmers can comment on this. The rest of us can go home.

Swimmer
16 days ago

It must be easy for Jacob Pebley to speak out on this when it doesn’t affect him at all

Jacob Pebley
Reply to  Swimmer
16 days ago

Actually, I’m currently coaching young girls and boys. I hope they know that winning isn’t everything. Enjoyment from this sport comes from the friendships, personal growth, and having a healthy lifestyle first and foremost. The rules are the problem, not the people following them. Just treat people with respect. I hope the swimming community can be a safe home for everyone some day.

If people want to enact change, direct the conversation at the NCAA not the trans community. They aren’t doing anything wrong and should be treated with the same respect as anyone else. Period.

Vinny B
Reply to  Jacob Pebley
16 days ago

Then speak out against the rules, and be specific about it. You are trying to sound brave and inclusive at the expense of kicking the can down the road on this issue. Women are suffering because of that, and you don’t care because “oh look at me I’m so brave and inclusive.” What should the rules be, then?

PsychoDad
Reply to  Vinny B
16 days ago

“Women are suffering.” Also “disenfranchised female swimmers.” lol.

How are female swimmers suffering? More than gay or trans youth that had to hide for years or even kill themselves?

Proud of you Mr Pebley. And you are absolutely right: “Enjoyment from this sport comes from the friendships, personal growth, and having a healthy lifestyle first and foremost.”

Free Lia Thomas! She is doing nothing wrong!

Vinny B
Reply to  PsychoDad
16 days ago

“How are female swimmers suffering? More than gay or trans youth that had to hide for years or even kill themselves?”

Oh no! Not that! Ok you’ve successfully changed my opinion.. Sorry, women! Another group with gender dysmorphia and mental health issues wants to invade your space, and if you don’t step aside, they’ll just kill themselves!! Women’s collegiate swimming, you’re cancelled!

lol
Reply to  PsychoDad
16 days ago

You laugh….That you think we don’t suffer with this, in society, over history or in sports in general? Or you want us to compare our suffering? How messed up.

Molly
Reply to  PsychoDad
16 days ago

I always assumed that for female athletes at a competitive level, just as for male athletes, enjoyment came from working hard, sacrificing (time, sleep, food, relationships) for your sport, and testing yourself against other athletes in your class in hopes of prevailing in a contest of skill and ability on a level playing field. Not to mention the goal of doing well in competition, and the dream and satisfaction of seeing all the hard work and sacrifices pay off in amazing ways — setting records, winning places, and earning scholarships, sponsorships, expanded career opportunities, life experiences, and so on.

But now I realize these are benefits (and types of “enjoyment”) that are only important to (and that only need… Read more »

John
Reply to  Jacob Pebley
16 days ago

You’re moving the goalpost. What is the discussion? I thought we were talking about professional women’s sports and earning a living through that as a biological female, and not about the general acceptance of transgenders in society.

Jacob Pebley
Reply to  John
16 days ago

The discussion (for me) is that there have been a lot of homophobic and transphobic comments around this topic that need to be squashed. Inclusivity at the expense of others is obviously not the ideal route. However, there is currently no home being given to the trans community within our own swimming community based on some comments being made. It is not my place to say that a woman who has transitioned shouldn’t be allowed to compete under her identity. That is when we begin taking steps backward in society. Largely, the dialogue to date has been to push Lia and others out of women’s swimming and into either A) competing as a gender that they don’t identify with or… Read more »

Dan
Reply to  Jacob Pebley
16 days ago

Do you not think it’s a step backwards for women’s sports? Why do transwomen deserve a safe space and not cis women? Plenty of women feel like Lia is encroaching on their space. Women’s only spaces are important and the evidence of that is seen in the rapidly women’s sports improved with the advent of title ix.

Hot Stuff
Reply to  Jacob Pebley
15 days ago

Thank you for speaking up and being so engaged with this discussion. As a cis person who has many trans loved ones the comments and cruelty are sickening, and it’s really important for people who have earned platforms and respect in the sport to show their support. You are absolutely right in pointing out the proposed outcomes do nothing except push out trans swimmers and tell them there is no place for them in swimming, nor are these critics seemingly willing to think about a range of solutions to this issue.

I can sympathize with the pain being felt by some cis female swimmers, and would like to see a resolution where everyone is satisfied, but feeling like you… Read more »

dan
Reply to  Hot Stuff
15 days ago

Scholarship???? Nothing like trying to squash reasonable issues people have with transwomen competing in women’s sports by labeling it white supremacy!

Hot Stuff
Reply to  dan
15 days ago

not labeling… explaining that a lot of the weird feelings people have around transness or bodies which seem not “normal” are deeply, unconsciously rooted in ways many people in the Western world are taught to think about what’s “natural”–expectations which hurt many people daily, from non-white to fat to disabled folks. again, feel free to read the linked articles for explanations. I’m not invoking that to “squash reasonable issues”, I’m raising the point to show how the outrage against Lia Thomas (a trans woman who has worked to reduce her testosterone levels) is linked to the same forces which excluded Caster Semenya (a cis woman with testosterone levels deemd “too high”) from competing in her sport. Neither is fair. Like… Read more »

Hot Stuff
Reply to  Hot Stuff
15 days ago

I think Schulyer Bailer perhaps addresses this better in his instagram post, by pointing out how Phelps’ irregular lactic acid production is praised rather than used as grounds for pushing him out of the sport, despite the advantage.
https://www.instagram.com/p/CX19ZSuLu2a

JennyAnyDots
Reply to  Hot Stuff
15 days ago

If a female swimmer had the same lactic acid production, the same height, and the same proportions, she still could not even come close to beating Phelps. Phelps has lost many times, and beats competitors by fractions of a second. Thomas beat competitors by 38 second. Several full laps ahead.

Also, women were not prevented from participating in sports on a case by case basis. They were kept out comprehensively and systematically for centuries. Why on earth are we supposed to suddenly consider things like lactic acid and gender identity now, when women have finally gotten on a relatively even footing after decades of struggle? Title IX wasn’t even enforced in the US until 1984. The last Olympic sport to… Read more »

JennyAnyDots
Reply to  Hot Stuff
15 days ago

Correctly identifying someone as male is not cruel. Crowding women out of the sports they’ve worked so hard to gain access to, and telling them that they’re selfish for wanting to be able to be competitive and to win, IS cruel.

That medium link is patent nonsense. Have you considered how racist it is to pretend non-white cultures didn’t know the difference between men and women pre-colonialization?

JennyAnyDots
Reply to  Jacob Pebley
15 days ago

What have you done to make someone like Thomas feel safe and at home in men’s swimming?

Dan
Reply to  Jacob Pebley
16 days ago

Respecting someone doesn’t mean agreeing with all of their actions or decisions.

Lol
Reply to  Jacob Pebley
16 days ago

Winning isn’t everything? That’s ripe coming from someone who has earned their career, livelihood, reputation and now platform from winning – thanks for advocating for sports to be a fair ground for female bodies (women) to have that same access. Not. Advocating for rules to change and sport to adapt to the trans community to keep competition fair is NOT what your statement conveys.

Just One AFAB Women’s Perspective
Reply to  Jacob Pebley
16 days ago

Hey Jacob,

First, I want to say that I appreciate you reminding everyone that young transgender athletes are watching this discussion very closely and that we need to be better at discussing this issue with empathy. I agree that it would be soul crushing to see your idols condemning you and I hope that young transgender athletes feel support in the community despite this divisive thread.

I also really just want this to meet a fair resolution that is based in science and hope that it can be reached. One solution that multiple people on this site have preached is to change the ‘Mens’ category to an open category and keep the ‘Womens’ category to AMAF only. The best hope… Read more »

Same Same

Thank you for sharing this (perfectly put) perspective!! For a retired elite-level male swimmer to chime in that females athletes should all just be in it for the good friendships and health is quite frankly just undervaluing females in sport. (At the end of the day, that’s exactly what almost every person in sports walks away with if you’re not a jerk.) That is not what is at stake. The key issue is the unfairness this brings for the AFAB athletes who are at the top of their game and are being affected now (or those athletes that will be in the future) …. and it is not going to be solved by holding hands and singing “Kumbaya”.

JennyAnyDots

Young women are also watching this discussion.

JennyAnyDots
Reply to  Jacob Pebley
15 days ago

If winning isn’t everything, there should be no issue with Thomas competing with the men’s team. The trans community is absolutely doing something wrong if they support this. Women are not support humans.

Older Swammer
Reply to  Swimmer
16 days ago

Pebs has his own mental issues. Who trains their entire life only to quit before Olympic Trials? He seems to be a symptom of this fragile new generation that can’t manage conflict, but conflict is a constant companion in life. Life is going to be rough for these individuals

Steve Nolan
Reply to  Older Swammer
16 days ago

Who trains their entire life only to quit before Olympic Trials? 

Your issue appears to be, “inability to look this up.”

The whole “this fragile new generation” thing is pretty ridiculous, too.

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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