Girl’s High School Track Runner Says Thumbs-Down Gesture Wasn’t Directed At Trans Competitor Who Stole State Championship Bid

Videos by OutKick

Adeline Johnson, a California girl’s high school track runner, recently finished fourth in a girl’s 1600-meter race. Two spots ahead of her was Athena Ryan, a biological male competing as a transgender girl, who stole a state championship bid from Johnson with the runner-up finish.

Ryan competed on the men’s team in 2021 but has been running in girl’s events for the past two seasons. Ryan’s time of 4:55:91 in the race would have finished last in the boy’s category.


Johnson was seen giving a thumbs-down gesture after the race that caught the attention of the very easily offended, but she wasn’t gesturing toward Ryan.

Trans High School Track Runner Steals Spot From Biological Female

While it would be understandable and justified for Johnson to be angry that a biological boy took her spot on the podium, her school told the New York Post that she wasn’t giving her competitor a thumbs down.

“The ‘thumbs-down’ gesture made by Branson runner Adeline Johnson on the infield at the NCS Meet of Champions on May 20, 2023 was a response to her mother regarding Adeline’s individual performance, and it should not be construed as a statement about her competitors,” Assistant Head of School Nathalio Gray told the Post.

A group of advocates held a banner at the track meet that simply read, ‘Protect Female Sports.’ They were eventually asked to leave and then escorted off the premises.

We currently live in a world where some find the words ‘Protect Female Sports’ not only offensive but wrong.

OutKick’s Amber Harding summed up the scene at the track meet perfectly in a recent column:

“Because when mediocre male athletes are able to participate and excel in the women’s category, that’s what’s truly “offensive.”

When boys are preventing girls from setting records and earning scholarships, that’s what’s “disgusting.”

But to hell with the ladies, right? As long as the boy feels good about himself.”

Women’s sports, especially at the youth level, are being attacked. The majority of folks out there seem to not care or are too afraid to speak up, but we’ll keep fighting the good fight.

Written by Mark Harris

Leave a Reply