Thomas was a priority

The editor-in-chief of Swimming World doesn’t mince words:

Must give credit to the Ivy League. It didn’t hide its position. From the early days of the Lia Thomas debate, the conference made it clear that it would wholly support one swimmer over hundreds of athletes. It made it clear that Thomas was a priority. It made it clear that its female athletes – specifically its swimmers – were inconsequential.

One male swimmer over hundreds of female athletes. It could be thousands or billions, it would make no difference. The man and his idenniny must have priority.

The Ivy League Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships begin Wednesday at Harvard University and Penn’s Thomas – according to the psych sheets – will see action in a quartet of individual events. She is the overwhelming top seed in three events (200 freestyle, 500 free, 1650 free) and the No. 2 seed in the 100 freestyle. She is also expected to see duty as a member of Penn’s relay teams.

While the NCAA storyline still has chapters to be written, the Ivy League and Penn have been in Thomas’ corner throughout the winter. Despite her obvious advantages over biological females, the conference and school have been all about Lia Thomas and not given a damn about the other swimmers in the pool.

“The Ivy League reaffirms its unwavering commitment to providing an inclusive environment for all student-athletes while condemning transphobia and discrimination in any form,” said an Ivy League statement release in January.

But of course that environment is not inclusive for the female athletes. By being inclusive of one male they exclude all the women from the top spot.

Then there’s the Ivy League’s condemnation of transphobia and discrimination. Yes, such acts should be denounced, but the Lia Thomas situation is not about transphobia. It is a sad and misguided state that any argument against Thomas’ participation is immediately deemed to be an indication of transphobia. No, the arguments against Thomas are about fairness, and for the Ivy League to play the transphobia card is arrogant, ignorant, and insulting. Really, it is a sign of the conference taking a bully approach and using such a strong term to intimidate and deter those willing to speak out.

The bully approach is the only approach.

3 Responses to “Thomas was a priority”