Kentucky Swimmer Riley Gaines Tweets Reply to Clay Travis, Says She’s ‘The Real Girl’ In Photo With Lia Thomas

The University of Pennsylvania is not the least bit concerned about the widely covered controversies around transgender swimmer Lia Thomas.

UPenn isn't just ignoring the controversy, it's leaning into it based on the fact that it has nominated Thomas for the 2021-22 NCAA Woman of the Year award.

University of Kentucky simmer Riley Gaines, who tied Thomas for fifth place in the women's 200-meter NCAA title race, isn't ignoring the situation either.

Gaines quoted Clay Travis' tweet explaining that Thomas' nomination is "yet another slap in the face to women" while stating that she's "the real girl" in the photo Travis tweeted.

Tennis legend Martina Navratilova has come out and voiced her disagreement and frustration with Thomas' nomination as well. Navratilova took to Twitter to ask if there weren't "enough fabulous biological women athletes" UPenn could have nominated for the award.

Navratilova and Gaines are far from the only ones criticizing the university's move to nominate Thomas for the award.

Last month, one of Thomas' teammates at UPenn anonymously described the swimmer as "mentally ill." Prior to that story in June, OutKick also reported that it was believed that Thomas colluded with another transgender swimmer before a race.

Thomas is one of only 577 nominees out of almost 223,000 female student-athletes in the NCAA.

The women to potentially receive the award 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.”

UPenn nominating Thomas comes a month after FINA, the world governing body for swimming, voted to restrict transgender athletes to compete against women in international events.

This decision to nominate Thomas is UPenn's latest signal letting the world know that it's all-in on a progressive ideology. You know, just in case you weren't aware of where the Philadelphia Ivy League school stood on that scale.

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Mark covers all sports at OutKick while keeping a close eye on the world of professional golf. He graduated from the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga before earning his master's degree in journalism from the University of Tennessee. He somehow survived living in Knoxville despite ‘Rocky Top’ being his least favorite song ever written. Before joining OutKick, he wrote for various outlets including SB Nation, The Spun, and BroBible. Mark was also a writer for the Chicago Cubs Double-A affiliate in 2016 when the team won the World Series. He's still waiting for his championship ring to arrive. Follow him on Twitter @itismarkharris.