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Former Kentucky Swimmer Riley Gaines Barker has become an outspoken advocate for women’s sports. She competed against Lia Thomas, a male, at the NCAA’s. The governing body denied Gaines a trophy that she earned and instead gave it to Thomas.
Since then, Gaines Barker has fought for biological men to be barred from competing against women.
On Wednesday, Gaines joined Dan Dakich on his OutKick show, “Don’t @ Me” and furthered her strong commentary on the issue.
She says that while sports like swimming are taking steps to stop the clear athletic advantage that men have over women, others — like soccer — are doing the opposite.
“[FIFA] has basically said compete how you identify,” Gaines said. “And that’s in part because we have people like Megan Rapinoe who, once, was a trailblazer for women’s sports… is now advocating for trans inclusion in sports.
“I believe because of, not just my outspokenness, there’s been several people who are behind me and at the forefront of this as well.”
More athletes are beginning to take Riley Gaines Barker’s lead in advocating for women’s sports
Gaines is correct: more female athletes are starting to speak up. She mentioned that other swimmers have backed her, but the movement is starting to pick up steam in other sports, as well.
Several athletes have joined her cause, including surfer Bethany Hamilton. Previously, athletes seemed afraid to speak publicly for fear of “activists” labeling them as “transphobic.” However, the positive reaction is finally starting to come in for these women fighting for their rights in athletics.
Gaines mentioned Megan Rapinoe, probably the most well-known female soccer player thanks to her constant desire to be in the spotlight. Rapinoe has previously pushed hard for allowing men to compete against women.
But another USWNT player, Becky Sauerbrunn, recently penned an op-ed. She wrote that men competing against women poses “no threat” to women’s sports.
OutKick spoke exclusively to a women’s organization, ICONS, who refuted Sauerbrunn’s claims.
“If you allow a male to invade the space of a group of females, that male will be dominant,” said ICONS member Valerie McClain. “And that male will displace a female. I don’t understand how Becky can say there is no threat. If one male displaces one female, that is a threat.”
What happened to the women’s rights movements?
It’s refreshing to see athletes like Gaines and organizations like ICONS standing up for women’s rights. It seems like not too long ago, this country pushed hard for women’s rights.
There was the “Me Too” movement aimed at punishing men who sexual harass and/or abuse women, specifically in the workplace.
When it comes to issues like abortion, phrases like “women’s health” and “reproductive rights” are constantly pushed to the forefront.
Yet, when a man decides he wants to be a woman and compete against other women, silence. Is that not the ultimate form of the “patriarchy” that our society claims to want to tear down? Putting the feelings and needs of a man who wants to be a woman over actual women?
We’re officially living in the upside-down.
Follow Dan Zaksheske on Twitter: @OutkickDanZ
2 CommentsLeave a Reply
Every time a USWNT member says there is “no threat to women’s sports by allowing transgender women to compete” or that “there is no biological or physical advantage to being trans” someone should remind these women that they were beat by a team of 14 year old boys.
Darn right she is. And every USWNT member who states biological men pose no threat to women’s sports is either a liar or really stupid. I cannot wait for the entire team to be replaced by trans.