Caitlyn Jenner slams trans swimmer Lia Thomas for competing in women's sports, saying it's unfair
- Caitlyn Jenner said it is unfair for transgender women to compete in women's sports.
- She spoke specifically about college athlete Lia Thomas, a University of Pennsylvania swimmer.
Caitlyn Jenner said it is unfair for transgender swimmer Lia Thomas to compete in women's sport.
Thomas, 22, competed for the men's swimming team University of Pennsylvania for three years before switching to compete for the women's team in 2020 after transitioning.
She has since broken a number of US women's swimming records, including the 200 meter and 500 meter freestyle records at the Zippy Invitational Event in Akron, Ohio.
In the 500 meter freestyle at the December event, Thomas finished 14 seconds faster than the second placed swimmer.
Speaking with Fox News, Jenner, who won a gold medal in the decathlon at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal before she transitioned, said: "We need to protect women's sports.
"I respect her decision to live her life authentically. 100%. But that also comes with responsibility and some integrity. I don't know why she's doing this."
—Caitlyn Jenner (@Caitlyn_Jenner) January 20, 2022
Jenner added that Thomas competing in women's sports is also "not good for the trans community" because she believes that it could distract from other issues like the high rate of suicide among trans people.
She also said that Thomas had certain biological advantages that meant she could swim faster.
"It's also not good for women's sports. It's unfortunate that this is happening," she said. "All of this woke world that we're living in right now is not working.
"I feel sorry for the other athletes that are out there."
Earlier this month, Olympian swimmer Michael Phelps suggested that Thomas' presence in women's sports wasn't fair, likening it to doping.
"I believe we all should feel comfortable with who we are in our own skin," he said. "But I think sports should all be played on an even playing field. I don't know what that looks like in the future."
Thomas could soon be barred from competing, however
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) on Wednesday voted in support of changes to its policy regarding transgender athletes.
The new policy proposed would mean transgender student-athletes need to adhere to testosterone level rules set by their respective sports' national and international governing bodies.
Previously, transgender women were allowed to compete in women's events if they had undergone a year of hormone-suppression therapy.
It is unclear whether Thomas, who began her transition in 2019, would be able to pass testosterone level tests, which could, in turn, jeopardize her ability to compete in the upcoming NCAA Championships.
The NCAA said its new policy would "ensure transgender student-athletes fair, respectful, and legal access to collegiate sports teams based on current medical and legal knowledge."
However, the changes have been criticized by some, with the College Swimming & Diving Coaches Association of America accusing the NCAA of a "failure to take the lead in this important discussion."
The University of Pennsylvania's swimming team did not immediately respond for Insider's request for comment how the NCAA rule changes might impact Thomas.
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