As evidenced by her rankings

Men stealing women’s athletic prizes – cool, or no?

Less than two days after several members of the University of Pennsylvania women’s swimming team released a letter in support of Lia Thomas, 16 team members and their families responded with a letter of their own. This letter, directed to the University of Pennsylvania and the Ivy League, requested that school and conference do not engage in litigation following USA Swimming’s release of its new transgender-inclusion policy.

The letter was sent to the University of Pennsylvania and the Ivy League by three-time Olympic champion Nancy Hogshead-Makar, who is the CEO of Champion Women. Hogshead-Makar has been a longtime advocate of women’s rights and has fought for equal opportunity for women’s athletes. During the Lia Thomas debate, Hogshead-Makar has repeatedly noted the unfair advantages of Thomas as a transgender woman when competing against biological females.

So there’s disagreement among the swimmers about the fairness of Lia Thomas’s con game.

We fully support Lia Thomas in her decision to affirm her gender identity and to transition from a man to a woman. Lia has every right to live her life authentically.

Or to put it another way, we don’t care what Thomas does with his “gender” in his private life.

However, we also recognize that when it comes to sports competition, that the biology of sex is a separate issue from someone’s gender identity. Biologically, Lia holds an unfair advantage over competition in the women’s category, as evidenced by her rankings that have bounced from #462 as a male to #1 as a female. If she were to be eligible to compete against us, she could now break Penn, Ivy, and NCAA Women’s Swimming records; feats she could never have done as a male athlete.

I will never understand why the grotesque unfairness of this isn’t so blindingly obvious to everyone that it just can’t get off the ground.

We have dedicated our lives to swimming. Most of us started the same time Lia did, as pre-teens. We have trained up to 20 hours a week, swimming miles, running and lifting weights. To be sidelined or beaten by someone competing with the strength, height, and lung capacity advantages that can only come with male puberty has been exceedingly difficult.

Because it’s so unfair, and so obviously unfair, yet grown-ass adults are forcing it on us. Exceedingly difficult indeed.

We have been told that if we spoke out against her inclusion into women’s competitions, that we would be removed from the team or that we would never get a job offer. When media have tried to reach out to us, these journalists have been told that the coaches and athletes were prohibited from talking to them. We support Lia’s mental health, and we ask Penn and the Ivy League to support ours as well.

You know, from the outside, Lia’s mental health looks pretty damn robust. He seems very cheerful, not to say triumphant and smug.

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