“What Are The Boundaries?”: Penn Parents Demand NCAA Change Transgender Rules

A group of UPenn swimming parents have penned a letter to the NCAA demanding rule changes be made in light of the recent dominance in the pool from transgender swimmer Lia Thomas, according to DailyMail.com.

The parents “of about 10 swimmers” reportedly sent a letter to the NCAA on December 5, which hasn’t received a response as of yet.

“At stake here is the integrity of women’s sports,” the portion of the letter that was obtained by DailyMail.com says. The entire letter was not available.

“The precedent being set – one in which women do not have a protected and equitable space to compete – is a direct threat to female athletes in every sport. What are the boundaries? How is this in line with the NCAA’s commitment to providing a fair environment for student-athletes?

“It is the responsibility of the NCAA to address the matter with an official statement. As the governing body, it is unfair and irresponsible to leave the onus on Lia, Lia’s teammates, Lia’s coaches, UPenn athletics and the Ivy League. And it is unfair and irresponsible to Lia to allow the media to dictate the narrative without the participation of the NCAA.”

The parents that spoke with DailyMail.com asked not to be identified in fear of repercussions on their children, and one parent explained that some of the swimmers feel the same way.

“The swimmers have mixed feelings,” the parent said. “Many of them want to speak up, but they don’t because they believe they’ll be ostracized.

“Everybody is scared. Parents are also scared that the kids will be harmed. We are paying $80,000 for this school. Their life will be impacted.”

The DailyMail.com report shows that the university responded to the parents by saying they “want to help our community navigate Lia’s success in the pool this winter” and that “Penn Athletics is committed to being a welcoming and inclusive environment for all our student-athletes, coaches and staff and we hold true to that commitment today and in the future.”

The parents came together in October when Thomas’ began to put up dominant performances in the pool. Most recently, at the Zippy Invitational in early December, Thomas put up the top time in the naiton in the women’s 200 freestyle (1:41.93) and 500 freestyle (4:34.06), along with the sixth-fastest time of the season in the 1650 free (15:59.71).

“I think that transgender people have a right to compete, but they need to have their own league,” another parent told DailyMail.com. “Being fair to one group of people shouldn’t take rights away from another group, and that’s what’s happening here.

“The NCAA obviously didn’t think much about the rules they set,” they added. “It’s not fair to the women on the team and it’s not fair to Lia as well. She went through transition, and I admire her bravery. But the records she sets now are not valued records, female records.”

The NCAA’s transgender policy currently dictates: “A trans female treated with testosterone suppression medication may continue to compete on a men’s team but may not compete on a women’s team without changing it to a mixed team status until completing one year of testosterone suppression treatment.”

Thomas has been undergoing hormone replacement therapy since mid-2019, making her eligible to compete on the women’s team.

Last week, an anonymous Penn swimmer spoke to media outlet OutKick regarding Thomas’ presence on the women’s team, claiming that “pretty much everyone individually has spoken to our coaches about not liking this.”

A few days later a second swimmer spoke anonymously with OutKick, outlining the vibe in the pool when Thomas was competing at the Zippy Invite. The source specifically noted that the crowd was silent after Thomas won the 1650 freestyle, and then after teammate Anna Kalandadze finished second, 38 seconds later, the crowd “erupted in applause.”

“Usually everyone claps, everyone is yelling and cheering when someone wins a race. Lia touched the wall and it was just silent in there,” they said.

SwimSwam has not independently verified that OutKick‘s sources are actually members of the women’s swim team at Penn.

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Jeepers
1 month ago

I can’t help but feel very sorry for Lia. She wants to do something that she loves as her true self for the first time in her life.

Wow
Reply to  Jeepers
1 month ago

Then continue to do it – just exhibitioned. And opt out of post-season, taper for the last dual meet or two and swim exhibition. Yes, it is unfair. Yes it isn’t right. Yes, there needs to be an official process/category in place. There isn’t right now. But it also isn’t right for her to swim with the women. I feel for her and I feel for all the other women in the NCAA right now.

Dagwood
Reply to  Wow
15 days ago

As background, I used to watch Lia swim when she was in high school and she often beat every guy in the pool, except her teammate who was on the U.S. Men’s Junior National Team. As a quick fact, Lia was swimming 4:17-4:18 in 500 Free (top 60 for college men) before suppression and is now swimming 4:34 after suppression so there has been some impact. I think in high school she was swimming around 4:24, which is Ledecky’s world record. (which certainly shows the physical / competitive differences between men and women).

In the interest of honoring Lia’s hard work and quality swims, her courage, plus her desire to identify as and swim with women, why not offer double… Read more »

Walter
Reply to  Jeepers
1 month ago

But it is bigger than that. She could swim exhibition. I know others won’t agree.

Sleeper
Reply to  Walter
1 month ago

This is not an original thought but I like it. Make the men’s events open to any swimmer and keep the women’s events for biological women. Everyone competes and if, as is being argued by some, being at a physical disadvantage should not matter…….

exswimcoach
Reply to  Jeepers
1 month ago

does the feeling of sorry extend to the born female swimmers who now must compete at a disadvantage? Asking for a friend.

Jeepers
Reply to  exswimcoach
1 month ago

Sure it does. I was a competitive swimmer, triathlete and runner myself. She’s doing exactly what the rules state.

Roch
Reply to  exswimcoach
1 month ago

Yes, it’s possible to feel sorry for both groups. Empathy is not hard.

exswimcoach
Reply to  Roch
1 month ago

I agree with you Roch but that was not I asked Jeepers.

Dlj
Reply to  exswimcoach
1 month ago

Exactly! This is an absolute injustice to female athletes!

Roxie
Reply to  Dlj
1 month ago

I agree. This is not fair to anyone. We need a third category for all competitions. She should get to compete but not as a bio femme or with bio femmes. Feeling like your “true self” while somewhat connected to your biology is not the same as your biology.

For example, if I say I feel like I am a 100lb lithe wrestler but my biology says I weigh 200lbs, then should I compete in the lighter weight class? Let’s make a new rule for my “True Self”: how about we measure fat vs muscle and if my muscle only weighs a certain small percentage of my 200lbs, then I should be able to compete in a light class…… Read more »

Anonymous
Reply to  exswimcoach
1 month ago

Are the Penn ladies having to share a locker room with Lia? Does Lia wear a kneeskin everytime she races?

The condors were robbed
Reply to  Jeepers
1 month ago

Just because he wants to do it doesn’t mean it’s fair

Jeepers
Reply to  The condors were robbed
1 month ago

She**

Coach
Reply to  Jeepers
1 month ago

I don’t agree with Lia competing as a female right now, but I am really saddened by how her teammates appear to be treating her. I can’t imagine my teammates being completely silent when I finish a race and hearing the place erupt for the next finisher. Is this a 2021 Jackie Robinson type scenario?

I get that most folks are upset with Lia competing as a female, but she is a human being. Take all of that negative energy and direct it to the decision makers. If Lia were to quit swimming tomorrow, the big picture still doesn’t change.

SC3
Reply to  Coach
1 month ago

Did you just compare this to Jackie Robinson…

Dave Burleigh
Reply to  Coach
1 month ago

Agree with Coach. I get that it is a controversial issue, but I am truly disgusted that the people complaining the loudest are her teammates and their parents. The antagonism from the people she should be able to rely on for support and encouragement must be incredibly difficult to handle. What a shame.

george brostanza
Reply to  Dave Burleigh
1 month ago

Honestly it just validates what we already knew: swimming is an individual sport that has been painted with a thick coat of “waaaah we’re a team” that was never actually true.

old sprinter
Reply to  george brostanza
1 month ago

I’m sorry for you if that has been your experience

Lol
Reply to  Coach
1 month ago

Honestly- what else would you have them do? By all appearances they are trying to be kind in person despite vehemently disagreeing with her position. They have taken their voices quietly to those in power to express where they see wrongs. Those people did nothing, so they are taking the next step to express that they do not support the current situation and it is causing problems.

Condemning people for not agreeing and quietly or publicly sharing something they see as wrong is not a good position to take throughout history. Women have been told this for centuries and in many places still are (apparently here in the US as well).

I support people stating their case for why… Read more »

Roxie
Reply to  Jeepers
1 month ago

there should be a third open category. Lia can be a woman but will never biologically female. This is no where near being fair for bio femmes.

harambe
1 month ago

Grabbing my popcorn, just here for the comments

exswimcoach
Reply to  harambe
1 month ago

Aerosmith sang it best years ago.

ScovaNotiaSwimmer
Reply to  exswimcoach
1 month ago

I’m really glad you’re no longer a swim coach

Riccardo
1 month ago

I fully support Lia in her transition.

However, If we’re talking from a straight up endocrinology standpoint you have to ask yourself this question.

Would you be okay with a female competing who had previously been on a steroidal dose of testosterone and estrogen blockers for 8 years coming off cycle and competing?

If your answer to this is no then it’s hard to say that it is fair for Lia to be competing against women.

If your answer is yes then you are in favor of extreme doping.

Saying that being on hormones now is effective in terms of fairness doesn’t hold water because you can’t reverse what is from a pure endocrinology/pharmacology standpoint essentially a decade… Read more »

Time Keeper
1 month ago

Does USA Swimming have a ruling in place for participation at olympic trials?

distanceswammer
Reply to  Time Keeper
1 month ago

Based on an interview I heard this week with a USA swimming official, Lia Thomas is not registered with USA swimming and has not been a member for about 2 years. To me this indicates that she does not plan on swimming outside of the collegiate arena (but obviously that could change)

Jimbob
Reply to  distanceswammer
1 month ago

I believe Thomas would have to go on much heavier testosterone suppression, for a longer time, to be able to do Olympic trials or other such competitions.

Part of the problem here is that the NCAA only requires that you suppress testosterone somewhat–it need not be dramatic.

Braden Keith(@braden)
Admin
Reply to  Jimbob
1 month ago

At present we don’t really know what the rules are for transgender athletes at the international/Olympic level. There are “guidelines” but not really rules.

Troyy
Reply to  distanceswammer
1 month ago

I wonder if she’s even in the WADA testing pool?

Troyy
Reply to  Troyy
1 month ago

Not that I suspect her of anything but she would need to be in the pool for 6 months before trials.

John
Reply to  Troyy
1 month ago

Are all NCAA athletes in the WADA pool? I thought that was only for FINA affiliated athletes with their NGB (ie: USAS). I’m not American so I’m genuinely curious.

Snarky
Reply to  John
1 month ago

Not unless they are on a national team or in the international wada pool.

Savannah
Reply to  Troyy
1 month ago

You would be in the testing pool only if you are ranked top 75 or 100 ( forgot what that was) in LCM world ranking.

Swimmingly
Reply to  Troyy
1 month ago

Her times would put her into that category for USA swimming. She’s A cut fast

Pez
1 month ago

These so called penn swimmers coming forward are being unbelievable. In the article about Zippy, “OutKick’s source described Penn swimmers on the Akron pool deck as upset and crying, knowing they were going to be demolished by Thomas.” I just simply do not believe that Penn swimmers were sobbing over being demolished by a teammate. I understand this is such a hot topic in the media, but people need to stop fabricating stories to favor one side. I really wish we could get verification on whether these articles are true before they spread in the way they are. I imagine the Penn pool deck is very tense right now.

Pez
Reply to  Pez
1 month ago

I am also not arguing whether Lia should compete. We can discuss her eligibility without having to make up stories that completely degrade Lia.

Kachow
Reply to  Pez
1 month ago

I too cry behind the blocks before my races. The release of oxytocin and endorphins hits different.

exswimcoach
Reply to  Pez
1 month ago

were you on the Akron pool deck? If not, you really have no basis to comment on what may or may not have happened.

Dressel_42.8
Reply to  exswimcoach
1 month ago

True, you should never question the validity of anything read in an article unless you were physically there to disprove it. exswimcoach gets it.

Teddy
Reply to  Dressel_42.8
1 month ago

Tried to upvote this twice

oxyswim
Reply to  Dressel_42.8
1 month ago

Even more so when it’s from such a reputable new source /s

Penn Dad
Reply to  oxyswim
1 month ago

Unfortunately, that news source is one of the few that actively reached out to swimmers for comment. Would the story be more believable if swimswam reported it? Maybe they should reach out.

Canadian Swammer
Reply to  oxyswim
1 month ago

Im not sure whether the downvotes on your comment suggest that people understood and the /s was not needed or that a /s was needed on the parent post 🤔.

Chris Swanson's Ghost
Reply to  Pez
1 month ago

Imagine being an anonymous Penn swimmer saying “The Ivy League is not a fast league for swimming, so that’s why it’s particularly ridiculous that we could potentially have an NCAA champion. That’s unheard of coming from the Ivy League”. I’ve heard of COVID deniers, but NCAA champion deniers are a whole new level. JUSTICE FOR CHRIS SWANSON.

Anonymoose
Reply to  Chris Swanson's Ghost
1 month ago

how often does it need to be repeated that the comment was in regards to womens swimming, which, you know… is the whole effing context of this discussion.

swim mom
Reply to  Pez
1 month ago

Tears do happen on the pool deck

DCC Parent
Reply to  swim mom
1 month ago

They sure do. Witnessed it at my first masters meet.

Penn Dad
Reply to  Pez
1 month ago

I’m the father of the Penn swimmer that made the comment. The story is true, I was the meet with the other swimmer’s parents.

lol
Reply to  Pez
1 month ago

You, my friend, are in denial. It’s not fabricated. Give it time, your comments will not age well. These stories are real and people speak anonymously when they are afraid and intimidated. Your dismissive words at their attempt to be heard is simply more abuse. Imagine believing that you shouldn’t have won a relay or won a meet, you’d feel terrible, not to mention if you believed someone was not fairly given their spot on a relay on in an event and it happened again and again. The emotional toll that has taken on the swimmers on this team is enormous. I am not personally involved with the Penn team, but I know people who are.

Swimmingly
Reply to  lol
1 month ago

Let’s stipulate that Pez is a parent of a Penn girl swimmer. And paying a healthy tuition to an elite school

In today’s climate, to come forward and risk getting expelled NOT anonymously would define insanity

Ayoo
Reply to  Pez
1 month ago

Yea those articles are absolutely from penn swimmers. Why would they not be upset when they’ve trained their entire lives just to not have a chance?? Teammate or not when someone has an advantage worse than doping you’re going to be upset when you’re in an organization which is supposed to protect your right to fair competition and opportunities. Those stories weren’t fabricated.

2Fat4Speed
1 month ago

I think parents need to butt out. College swimmers are adults. This comment has nothing to do with agreeing or disagreeing with Lia’s situation.

Dick Crawley’s Ghost
Reply to  2Fat4Speed
1 month ago

When ethics and potential legality come into play, parents probably can be involved a little bit

Snark
Reply to  2Fat4Speed
1 month ago

Agreed, but that ain’t going to happen anytime soon.

historyteacher
Reply to  2Fat4Speed
1 month ago

College parents who pay $80k per year to attend UPenn (no athletic scholarships) – parents should have a voice.

Jimbob
Reply to  historyteacher
1 month ago

To be fair, no one is paying near 80k unless they have a very high net worth and/or income. Ivies have very strong need based aid.

At Princeton, you don’t pay much unless your parents make under 250k/yr., for example.

But yes, it’s multiples of what state schools charge, obviously.

Snarky
Reply to  Jimbob
1 month ago

Says the person who didn’t go to an Ivy.

DMSWIM
Reply to  historyteacher
1 month ago

And their child still gets a wonderful Penn education and diploma for that $80k a year. Their child not being the fastest on the team any more (or second fastest, or third fastest) doesn’t make their investment any less valuable.

Lisa D
Reply to  DMSWIM
1 month ago

Yes but what if your daughter doesn’t get to go to Ivy championships or doesn’t get on the relay or doesn’t make the podium or the A final. The list goes on. It sucks.

DMSWIM
Reply to  Lisa D
1 month ago

But it’s also just swimming. I swam at a Power 5 conference school and am about 10 year removed from it. Does whether I made an A final at my conference championships matter to me? No. I remember the lessons I learned from swimming. One of those lessons was how to handle conflict with my teammates and learn how to work with people I didn’t agree with. It was a skill that transferred well to the workplace, and these student athletes are learning that through this experience.
Through college swimming, I also learned that things aren’t fair. My junior year was the height of the supersuits, and they clearly helped certain people more than others. People who the year… Read more »

DCC Parent
Reply to  DMSWIM
1 month ago

I’m guessing it mattered to you 10+ years ago. If it didn’t matter then, why did you bother?

By your logic, swimming shouldn’t matter for anyone since they will view it differently 10 years after they retire.

DMSWIM
Reply to  DCC Parent
1 month ago

DCC Parent, that’s not what I said at all. It mattered a lot to me then, but whether or not I made an A final didn’t impact whether or not my education was valuable. Ultimately, these parents are complaining about paying $80k in tuition for tuition because their child might be one place lower on the team’s roster/at the conference meet. A true education is about learning to deal with things that are unfair and that’s what matters in the long run. No one went to Penn because they had Olympic aspirations. They went there to get an education and this situation is part of it.

TXSwimMom
Reply to  DMSWIM
1 month ago

They chose Penn for the education AND the team. Most student athletes decide a college based on both and some decide a more expensive option because of the team atmosphere they want. For that to be taken away, for the opportunities that they hoped and worked hard for to now be unfairly given to someone else, it’s a tough situation to be in.
I am so happy that you have moved on from your personal disappointments, and sure the women on the Penn team and women competing against Lia will move on too as they have no other choice, but being able to move on from the disappointment doesn’t make it right to put them in this situation in… Read more »

Anonymoose
Reply to  DMSWIM
1 month ago

this comment is hilarious lmao, the whataboutism is strong in this one

1) the sweet logic and attitude behind saying “oh i didnt care that i didnt make an A final.” and implying that obviously that must mean that nobody else cares about it either for themsleves. and if they do, they are in the wrong or something or what?
same with saying “its just swimming”. like, okay, so you dont care much about swimming? fine, you dont have to. but implying that others shouldnt either uhm… dumb af?
…. also, you do understand which site youre on question mark

2) also, this isnt really about conflict between lia and her teammates at all. it is clearly understood… Read more »

DMSWIM
Reply to  Anonymoose
1 month ago

First off, I haven’t taken any position on what the NCAA should do regarding Lia. I’m actually on the fence about it. My point was about the parents complaining about paying $80k and thinking because of that their children shouldn’t be beat by someone. My point was that they are paying $80k for their children to get an education and they are definitely receiving that. Down the road, this experience will likely benefit them more educationally than moving up one spot in the team’s top times or making an A final. I cared a ton about making an A final when I was swimming college as I should have, but in the long run, unless you are going pro/making the… Read more »

Aquatiger
Reply to  DMSWIM
1 month ago

And they ultimately banned super suits!! What’s your point? Are you saying they need to deal with things until the NCAA can act and ban things that may be totally unfair??

Consider the lesson learned.

DMSWIM
Reply to  Aquatiger
1 month ago

Aquatiger, I am not taking a position on how the NCAA should handle this situation. All I’m saying is that I learned the most from unfair situations in my career and these swimmers are getting plenty of learning experiences for their $80k.

Lol
Reply to  DMSWIM
1 month ago

Actually, yes it does make their investment less valuable. An education at any institution should not include being taught that you should have to witness misogyny and unfair practices day and day out and hear that those practices are supported by your teachers and leaders.

Troyy
Reply to  historyteacher
1 month ago

I couldn’t imagine paying $80k for university.

DMSWIM
Reply to  Troyy
1 month ago

That’s the real crime in this situation.

Hillbilly
Reply to  Troyy
1 month ago

Cue up Brooks and Dunn “Only in America”

Jimbob
Reply to  Troyy
1 month ago

If your parents make 100k/yr and have normal assets (primary residence, a 401k, a small business) they won’t pay much at all. Ivies are a steal for middle class kids who can get in. I believe many (if not all) Ivies are essentially free if your parents make less than 100k.

Princeton cost less than Penn State in my case and my parents were upper middle class. Of course, upper middle class feels pretty poor at any ivy because so many of the students come from families w/ significant assets.

Last edited 1 month ago by Jimbob
Braden Keith(@braden)
Admin
Reply to  Jimbob
1 month ago

At Penn, if your parents make less than $140k, tuition is covered. There’s a lower threshold for tuition + etc. to all be covered.

Jimbob
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 month ago

Thanks. I’m more than a decade out and I’m not sure what the current numbers are.

Income isn’t the real dividing line at an Ivy anyway. Assets are. Regardless, last I saw, the median Princeton parents had 250k Adjusted Gross Income. The mean is obviously a lot higher bc of the 7 & 8 figure outliers.

The schools don’t need any tuition money whatsoever, as it’s all about the endowment and annual giving.

DMSWIM
Reply to  Jimbob
1 month ago

But there’s a big donut hole there for people making $150k a year to about $300k a year where spending $80k a year on your kid’s education could be financially devastating. Making $150k for a family of 4 in a high cost of living area isn’t actually that much, especially if you have to spend half of it on college tuition.

Last edited 1 month ago by DMSWIM
Canadian Swammer
Reply to  Troyy
1 month ago

Non USA, or is that high even there?

jamesjabc
Reply to  Troyy
1 month ago

I have a law degree and a science degree from UQ. I was there for 6 years. It cost me $50k total. $80k per year is insane.

ohio state beat texas
Reply to  historyteacher
1 month ago

Penn parents have had enough. It’s time for them to take this into their own hands and boycott paying tuition until this issue is resolved

okay_bruther
Reply to  historyteacher
1 month ago

Now THAT is a great idea!!! 10 or so parents refusing to pay 80k a year will really force the hand of an institution with a multibillion dollar endowment.

Braden Keith(@braden)
Admin
Reply to  okay_bruther
1 month ago

It’s worth pointing out that about half of Penn students received grant-based financial in 2021. Penn, like (most? all?) Ivies meets 100% of demonstrated financial aid with grants and work study programs.

For Penn, the numbers in 2020-2021: 46% received grant-based financial aid, and the average package was $56,095, which is more than the cost of tuition.

HJones
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 month ago

They say they don’t give out athletic scholarships, but anyone familiar with the Ivy recruiting process knows that coaches have liaisons with the FA offices to try to get some “extra money” to athletes they really want. They’ll try to “make things work” one way or another. Same thing at a lot of D3s.

Ray Finkle
Reply to  historyteacher
1 month ago

The parents are getting an education

Lisa D
Reply to  2Fat4Speed
1 month ago

Parents can’t butt out because the swimmers are not allowed to comment per their coach. Swimmers are terrified of looking like they’re anti-LGBTQIA when that is not the issue whatsoever. One was quoted as saying they don’t want to lose job opportunities as well.

dan
Reply to  Lisa D
1 month ago

I find it hard to believe that a coach at an Ivy League would try to sensor their athletes. I’m assuming that it’s pretty hard to stay anonymous within the team when speaking out because of how tight knit swim teams are, and it doesn’t seem like anyone’s been removed from the team. Also, there’s a way to have a conversation about Lia competing without being transphobic. You can question the validity of the NCAAs rules without completely demeaning transgender athletes. The swimmer who came forward and said she didn’t want to lose job opportunities was blatantly transphobic in her statement when she misgendered and dead named Lia.

george brostanza
Reply to  dan
1 month ago

Honestly, it was probably said for their own protection. 1) because 18-22 year olds often say dumb things, and 2) anyone who steps out in front of this bus is going to struggle to focus on studying or school, regardless of which side they take.

Also, it’s gotta be wrecking this team, right?

Jimbob
Reply to  george brostanza
1 month ago

Pretty sure Anna K would be setting records and challenging for the ivy title if Thomas wasn’t literally lapping her in the 1650.

That’s a tragedy.

Snarky
Reply to  dan
1 month ago

Your lack of spelling almost as bad as your logic. The word is “censor”. And Just because people think it is unfair and Lia shouldn’t compete as a woman and fear backlash doesn’t make people transphobic or their opinions demeaning to transgender athletes. It’s simply pointing out that this situation is absolutely unfair and the rules need to change. That’s simply truth.

Anonymoose
Reply to  dan
1 month ago

look, you might understand that “there’s a way to have a conversation about Lia competing without being transphobic”. and i understand that. and so do many other people out there.

but, there are more than enough (very vocal) people out there who disagree with this, and they DO label everyone who raises any concern about this issue as a transphobe.
lia’s case is not the first case of transgender and womens sport after all. these discussions were had dozens of times already over the last 2 years +

yes, the swimmer who came forward was partially transphobic sadly, which is very unfortunate

Taa
Reply to  Lisa D
1 month ago

Its 2021 who the hell is censored nowadays. Just North Koreans.

Lol
Reply to  2Fat4Speed
1 month ago

No one who has a vested interest in swimming or sports needs to butt out of this one. Opinions are valid and people should be heard. Don’t tell anyone to sit down and shut up where they see injustice.

IMO
Reply to  2Fat4Speed
1 month ago

The swimmers have been forbidden to speak out by Penn. Even if they weren’t, if they speak up they will be immediately attacked and their future job opportunities could be impacted. Martina Navratilova spoke up about a different trans athlete a couple years ago and the attacks on social media were immediate and vicious. And she is a vocal LGBTQIA advocate. My hope is that if the letter from the parents has no effect, they will mount a lawsuit.

the child of the team
Reply to  2Fat4Speed
1 month ago

not all college swimmers are technically adults. there’s two 17 y/o on our college team 🙂

Dressel_42.8
1 month ago

Before the comments blow up I just wanted to mention that the Bacon, Egg, and Cheese McGriddle from McDonalds is criminally underrated. That being said, it’s pretty blatantly obvious that Lia Thomas is not competing on an even playing field and the NCAA needs to take some form of action

BWswim
Reply to  Dressel_42.8
1 month ago

This made my day.

KRW
1 month ago

This is not about inclusion or exclusion. The athlete competed as a male for two years. Nobody’s being excluded here. This is about right and wrong. It is wrong to force biologically born females to compete athletically against biologically born males. Wrong. End of discussion. What’s the solution? Have a transgender category. Argument is over. No more controversy.

distanceswammer
Reply to  KRW
1 month ago

Ah yes. Let’s create a whole new category for *checks notes* one person. Makes sense. I understand people’s frustration with the situation but creating a category for a situation that will come up once every couple of years (if that) is a ridiculous solution.

isopropyl
Reply to  distanceswammer
1 month ago

If that’s the case then catering the rules so that they benefit *checks your notes* one person and are in turn a detriment to 50% of the population is an even more ridiculous solution.

Blackflag82
Reply to  distanceswammer
1 month ago

Thinking this might only come up occasionally at this point is probably short sighted…

Corn Pop
Reply to  distanceswammer
1 month ago

There are Para events with one person in their category all the time .

KRW
Reply to  distanceswammer
1 month ago

You make sense. But what to do now? How about banning switching mid eligibility? This person’s times as a male were very respectable against males. Now?? So damn unfair to the ladies.

Willswim
Reply to  distanceswammer
1 month ago

Two divisions. Women’s division for people born biologically female and Open division for anyone. Problem solved.

Anonymous
Reply to  Willswim
1 month ago

What are the suit requirements for this open division? What locker room should they use?

Swammer
Reply to  Anonymous
1 month ago

they can probably use any locker room then want based on their identified gender and choice. Just like with bathrooms.

Anonymoose
Reply to  distanceswammer
1 month ago

its not a great solution but its an infinitely better one than the current one.

if you come up with an even better solution, you are more than welcome to share. actually, we would be desperate to hear it

Lisa D
Reply to  KRW
1 month ago

Or swim against the men. Or exhibition.

yummy nummy
Reply to  KRW
1 month ago

Thanks KRW! Let the record show that transphobia has ended today. The entire athletic community is forever indebted to you.

KRW
Reply to  yummy nummy
1 month ago

Not about trans phobia. It’s about right versus wrong. It’s about fair versus unfair. Wake up.

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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