Former University of Kentucky swimmer Riley Gaines reacted to a “disgusting” photo of former University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas wearing an “Antifa Super Soldier” shirt.
“Doesn’t this make so much sense,” Gaines said of the transgender swimmer’s shirt, according to Fox News.
Gaines, who is an advocate for fairness in women’s sports, lost to Thomas in 2022 and became outspoken against UPenn’s decision to allow Thomas to compete on the women’s team. Thomas went on to become the first transgender athlete to win an NCAA Division I national championship.
“I haven’t specifically bashed Lia Thomas on anything (other than calling him an entitled narcissist which I stand by) because ultimately he was following the rules in place. But this is disturbing,” Gaines said of the Antifa shirt.
Thomas ruffled feathers during the 2021-2022 season as the swimmer set pool, school, and Ivy League records. Thomas competed for three years on the men’s team and was ranked 462 as a male swimmer, but shot up to number one after being allowed to join the women’s team last season.
Thomas won the 500 freestyle at the NCAA swimming and diving championships in 2022, where the swimmer placed fifth in the 200 freestyle and eighth in the 100 freestyle.
Thomas previously dismissed criticism about being allowed to compete on the women’s team in an interview with ESPN, arguing that “trans women are women.”“It’s no different than a cis woman taking a spot on a travel team or a scholarship,” Thomas said at the time. “It’s a part of athletics, where people are competing against each other. It’s not taking away opportunities from cis women, really. Trans women are women, so it’s still a woman who is getting that scholarship or that opportunity.”
Meanwhile, transgender-rights activists at San Francisco State University held Gaines against her will for three hours and demanded a ransom for her release when she was on campus for an event in April.