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'Murder of Women's Sports': Trans Swimmer Lia Thomas Under Fire After Winning Women's National Title

© AFP 2023 / Brett Davis-USA TODAY SportsMar 18, 2022; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Penn Quakers swimmer Lia Thomas walks out before the 200 free at the NCAA Swimming & Diving Championships at Georgia Tech
Mar 18, 2022; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Penn Quakers swimmer Lia Thomas walks out before the 200 free at the NCAA Swimming & Diving Championships at Georgia Tech - Sputnik International, 1920, 19.03.2022
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On Thursday, a trans woman named Lia Thomas secured a national title, winning the 500-yard freestyle at the NCAA Championships. She transitioned in 2019; before that time, Thomas swam for the men's team.
The podium for an NCAA swimming contest on Thursday drew the attention of not only sports fans, but also those willing to stand up for women athletes, as the victory of a trans swimmer in the women's nationals did not sit well with many critics.
Trans swimmer Lia Thomas finished the race with a time of 4:33.24, more than a second before Emma Weyant, who secured second place. However, many view Weyant as the actual winner, dismissing Thomas as a "male" athlete and claiming that her participation in the contest is contributing to the "murder of women's sports".
"Lia Thomas spent 21 years of his life as a man. He started competing against women in swimming this year and became a national champion. Our daughter's sports are not a plan B for failed male athletes", the American Principles Twitter account said.
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While some insist that criticising Thomas' participation is an act of "transphobia", others hit back, saying that such accusations are just "a cover up" for those who in fact know that a trans woman competing in a women's contest is "unfair".
"The argument of transphobia is used to cover up the fact that you all KNOW it's unfair to the hundreds of athletes competing against her. By catering to woke culture the NCAA is hurting so many female athletes", a user named Eliana Silver tweeted.
"Lia Thomas spent 21 years of his life as a man. Said he is now a woman and in less than a year became a national champion in women's swimming. And as a society, we're supposed to accept this as totally okay?", political strategist Greg Price wondered on his Twitter account.
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"Lia Thomas is a male. He won not because his skills improved, but because he's stronger and faster than the actual female competitors. Period. It's not a positive. It is NOT progress. It's a slap in the face to women and girls, and it pisses me off. I don't accept it", writer Kimberly Ross said.
Some critics lamented that few female athletes have come forward to speak against Thomas' participation in women's contests. Yet, according to some reports, many females in sports are "frightened" to speak out.
"They're frightened of losing friends. They're frightened of being kicked off their teams. They're frightened of being told by their universities that they're transphobic and hateful", a mother of an NCAA swimmer told The Post Millennial.
Lia Thomas came out as transgender and started her transition in 2019. Before the transition, Thomas swam for the men's team, switching to women's competitions by the 2021-22 season.
In early March, Thomas (who decided to go by Lia Catherine Thomas in 2020) shared her view on the issue with Sports Illustrated, criticising those who believe she should not be competing against women.
"The very simple answer is that I'm not a man", she said. "I'm a woman, so I belong on the women's team. Trans people deserve that same respect every other athlete gets".
She insisted she wanted to "swim and compete as who I am".
During the 2018-2019 season, Thomas recorded the top Penn Men's team times in the 500, 1,000, and 1,650 freestyles. Between 2020 and 2021, the athlete did not take part in competitions due to the coronavirus pandemic.
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