In case you were wondering if the controversy around transgender swimmer Lia Thomas had gotten to UPenn, their recent actions prove the exact opposite.
Nominations for the 2021-2022 NCAA’s Woman of the Year were recently posted, and the school made Thomas one of its two choices.
There are only 577 nominees out of nearly 223,000 female student-athletes in NCAA, putting Thomas in exclusive company.
Potential award recipients are supposed to be “female student-athletes who have exhausted their eligibility and distinguished themselves in their community, in athletics and in academics throughout their college careers.”
Thomas apparently met the criteria as far as UPenn is concerned.
After an unremarkable career as a swimmer in men’s competitions, Thomas moved to the women’s side and immediately dominated biological females. In March, Thomas won a preliminary race at the NCAA Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships by nearly 5 seconds, outpacing Olympian Brooke Forde.
That race came on the heels of Thomas and another biological man easily winning Ivy League competitions the previous month.
The decision to nominate Thomas will almost certainly spark further criticism of transgender athletes competing against biological women.
Even within the UPenn women’s swimming team, there’s been significant pushback against Thomas, with one teammate describing Lia as “mentally ill:”
Another story recently broke that teammates felt that their voices were silenced and that UPenn was uninterested in their concerns.
Prominent female Olympians like Nancy Hogshead also spoke out against Thomas competing against women, and the international governing body for swimming banned transgender athletes from women’s competitions.
None of that dissuaded UPenn from making Thomas one of their nominees for “Woman of the Year.”
This incident is an unfortunate victory for woke politics over common sense. UPenn clearly felt that the benefits of signaling their commitment to progressive ideology was worth further destroying any semblance of competitive fairness.
Thomas inarguably has inherent biological advantages over female swimmers, especially having only transitioned a year ago. Recognizing these accomplishments delegitimizes the award and insults the lifelong biological women on UPenn’s team forced to swim at a massive disadvantage.
There’s simply no reasonable explanation for making Thomas the nominee other than political motivations.
Institutional capture by woke administrators has had devastating consequences, and this might simply encourage more copycats to turn their backs on unexceptional careers as men and become stars in women’s races.
While UPenn has clearly abandoned any pretense of common sense, hopefully the NCAA doesn’t capitulate and reward this blatant absurdity.