Fellow NCAA ‘Woman Of The Year’ Nominee Riley Gaines Tells Tomi Lahren She Doesn’t ‘Want That Trophy’

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The encouragement of transgender athletes competing in women’s sports is infuriating for those who care about competitive fairness and biological reality.

But it’s even more frustrating for the women with no choice but to compete at a severe disadvantage.

Now one of them is speaking out about it.

Riley Gaines has had an incredibly successful career in women’s college swimming, but in recent months was forced to race against Lia Thomas, the biological male who transitioned only a year ago and often dominates biological women.

Gaines joined Tomi Lahren Wednesday to discuss how the NCAA has promoted Thomas and the absurdity of nominating a transgender athlete for the “Woman of the Year” award.

She referenced that one incident in particular informed her that on top of being allowed to compete, Thomas would be prioritized above others.

In March 2022, Gaines and Thomas tied for 5th in the women’s 200-meter freestyle race at the NCAA championships. While the event had understandably only created one trophy for 5th place, it’s unsurprising who was chosen to hold it on the podium:


“I want to go back to another controversy that involved you and Lia Thomas, specifically. You both tied for Fifth. So you’re both supposed to get a trophy. Lia Thomas ended up getting the trophy and then yours was just going to be sent in the mail. Did you ever get it?”

Riley Gaines:

“I got it a couple of weeks ago. But basically what happened is after we tied, you go behind the awards podium and they distribute the awards. And so we went back there and then civil official said, ‘Great race, you guys tied. So we’re going to have Thomas hold the fifth place trophy you can pose with the sixth place trophy and it will come in the mail.'”

ATLANTA, GEORGIA – MARCH 18: Lia Thomas looks on from the podium after finishing fifth in the 200 Yard Freestyle during the 2022 NCAA Division I Women’s Swimming & Diving Championship at the McAuley Aquatic Center on the campus of the Georgia Institute of Technology on March 18, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Mike Comer/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

Gaines explained that she was initially more understanding about the incident because she realized there’s only one 5th place trophy.

But when she asked why she was instructed to hold the 6th place award, the official response indicated that the intent was simply to reward Thomas:

“But I asked the official, ‘I was like, okay. Can I ask you why you are adamant on Thomas holding the trophy over me?’ And he just looked at me and said, ‘Well, we’re just doing this in chronological order. And so it was at this point I realized exactly what was happening. And so I asked him, I was like, ‘What are we being chronological about?’ Because one, we tied and if we’re basing this off the alphabet or whatever else, what alphabetically is based it off of G comes before T, so I’m just not following. And he looked at me and said, Thomas hold the trophy for photo purposes.”

There was no justification, alphabetically or not, for Thomas being given the benefit over Gaines. Quite simply, the event administrators wanted to prioritize one over the other.

Gaines also explained that as a result, she has no interest in the NCAA Woman of the Year trophy, despite her extremely successful college career:

“Same thing with the NCAA Woman of the Year, I don’t even want that trophy,” Gaines said. “I’m a 12 time All-American, so I have tons of those at home.”

Championing Thomas at the expense of biological women has quite obviously delegitimized the entire awards process, putting politics and woke ideology ahead of fairness and common sense.

Gaines went further, expressing her disappointment with the NCAA putting female competitors “on the back burner for men:”

“It’s an organization that I know I have essentially dedicated my whole life to, and so many other female athletes work so hard to get there and to be not only forced to compete against men, but put on the back burner for men. It was extremely eye opening and extremely disheartening.”

As her response to Clay Travis also explains, the NCAA, University of Pennsylvania and many others have gone out of their way to encourage Lia Thomas at the expense of lifelong females:

This is yet another example of how the infusion of progressive politics into real world situations has significant and immediate negative consequences.

Riley Gaines did everything right and through no fault of her own, was placed behind someone who has used an unfair advantage to dominate competitions. Instead of criticizing this behavior, the NCAA and many member institutions support Thomas’s actions.

Until these types of inexcusable actions are stopped, there will be many more frustrated and discouraged female athletes losing to biological men.

Here’s everything Gaines and Tomi discussed on Tomi Lahren is Fearless:

Catch Tomi Lahren is Fearless every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday starting at 7 p.m. ET on OutKick’s YouTubeTwitter and Facebook.

Written by Ian Miller

Ian Miller is a former award watching high school actor, author, and long suffering Dodgers fan. He spends most of his time golfing, traveling, reading about World War I history, and trying to get the remote back from his dog. Follow him on Twitter @ianmSC

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