Noticeably quiet

ESPN reports on Lia Thomas’s “win”:

Thomas, who is a transgender woman, touched the wall in 4 minutes, 33.24 seconds in the 500-yard freestyle on Thursday night to become the first known transgender athlete to win a Division I national championship in any sport.

Yes but the issue isn’t “transgender” but man playing in women’s sport. We weren’t waiting eagerly for the first male athlete to win a woman’s national championship. We don’t see that as a breakthrough, or as a good thing in any way. We see it as cheating. We see it as brazen theft of a woman’s win and a woman’s spot in the race. We’re not impressed, we’re disgusted.

Thomas finished 1.75 seconds ahead of second-place Emma Weyant, of Virginia. Her time was a career best and a little more than 9 seconds off of Katie Ledecky’s 4:24.06 record.

The race began with the crowd cheering for each of the swimmers, but fans were noticeably quiet for Thomas’ introduction. Save Women’s Sports founder Beth Stelzer draped a vinyl banner with the organization’s phrase over the railing.

As she stood on the podium with her trophy, she flashed a peace sign, just as she did for her four Ivy League championships. And once again, the crowd was noticeably quiet as she was announced as the champion.

Probably because the crowd wasn’t impressed by such obvious cheating. They could see his shoulders.

“It’s a symbol of Lia’s resilience,” Schuyler Bailar, the first known transgender man to compete on a Division I men’s team while at Harvard, told ESPN. “The fact that she’s able to show up here, despite protesters outside, people shouting and booing her, I think it’s a testament to her resiliency. And it’s also a symbol that we can both be who we are and do what we love.”

No, it’s a testament to his brazen determination to cheat. He could still do what he loves, he could go right on swimming, he doesn’t have to swim against women.

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