ESPN continues to be silent after getting called out by former NCAA All-American swimmer Riley Gaines, who sent out a call to action to ESPN’s female employees asking them to walk out in protest after the network chose to spotlight Will “Lia” Thomas, a man who has attempted to convince the world he is a woman, during Women’s History Month.
Instead of choosing an actual woman to highlight on their network during a month set aside to honor women, ESPN chose Thomas to feature in a segment, highlighting him as the only transgender athlete to “ever win a NCAA Division 1 championship.”
ESPN celebrated Women’s History Month by promoting a special about transgender swimmer Lia Thomas……a biological male who destroyed real women in the pool. pic.twitter.com/gVLa0rz2NN
— David Hookstead (@dhookstead) March 26, 2023
Gaines rightfully took issue with the network choosing a man over a woman, and posted to Twitter her criticisms of the network’s choice.
“Lia Thomas is not a brave, courageous woman who EARNED a national title,” tweeted Gaines. “He is an arrogant, cheat who STOLE a national title from a hardworking, deserving woman. The NCAA is responsible.”
“If I was a woman working at ESPN, I would walk out. You’re spineless ESPN.”
Lia Thomas is not a brave, courageous woman who EARNED a national title. He is an arrogant, cheat who STOLE a national title from a hardworking, deserving woman. The @ncaa is responsible.
— Riley Gaines (@Riley_Gaines_) March 26, 2023
During an interview with Stuart Varney on Fox Business, Gaines stated that she had not received any response from ESPN, saying the lack of response was “no surprise to me.”
She first explained to Varney why she has not received any backlash for her her call to action.
“People are becoming more bold, people are starting to open their eyes to what this gender ideology propaganda being pushed by the left, being pushed by the media, being pushed within education systems,” she said. “They’re opening their eyes to how harmful this is, specifically, of course, to women and to children.”
Gaines then relayed she has not heard anything from ESPN and that it is “no surprise” to her.
She then went on to praise ESPN anchor Sage Steele, “I will say, I admire Sage Steele, who works at ESPN. Of course, she is a real female. I admire her so much because she has taken a public stance on this. Of course, working around sports, we know the advantages that men have in comparison to women when we’re comparing things that require athleticism or sheer strength. And Sage has been the only woman working at ESPN to publicly acknowledge that, and so I admire her for her courageousness and her strength.”
Gaines, since becoming an advocate for protecting the integrity of Women’s Sports and ensuring the safety of female athletes, has also pushed for their to be accommodations for transgender athletes to compete amongst each other.
She highlighted this to Varney, “I think in an ideal world in terms of finances, in terms of the amount of people actually playing in this division and people watching this, I think this is the perfect solution. A lot of people will, of course, look at this as something that’s segratory, and we’re isolating the trans community. But from my perspective, we’re embracing the trans community. Five years ago, if you would have suggested a trans category, people would have laughed in your face. But now we’re acknowledging these people do, in fact, exist.”
“And giving them a space to compete fairly, safely, which is what we all want. That’s what I want and that’s what the women, that’s what we do deserve,” she added.
Gained concluded, “My argument, of course, in regards to this whole issue especially the Lia Thomas scenario. This was a male swimmer, a mediocre male swimmer, who was ranked 462nd nationally at best amongst the men, has now transitioned to a woman, and of course naturally trails the women, dominates the women’s field. How are we not seeing the blatant discrimination that we are facing on the basis of sex, which of course everything Title IX was created to protect.”
“We are as women being discriminated on the basis of sex,” she finished.
What do you make of Gaines’ call to action towards ESPN employees? What about her other comments?