Colleges have found a back-door way to get around the 1972 Title IX Amendment by letting men pretend to be women.
Liah Thomas, a biological male named Will at birth, is allowed to compete as a woman on the University of Pennsylvania swim team. National Collegiate Athletic Association rules only require one year of hormone treatments for an athlete to identify as a different sex. After one year of taking hormones, Thomas is crushing competitors on the women’s swim circuit.
Thomas towers over his teammates as many photos show female teammates are significantly shorter, with less muscle mass. He has broken a few swimming records but he has reportedly broken the hearts of many female teammates. They don’t speak against him publicly because their coach and college administrators have reportedly instructed them not to. But, they have spoken anonymously to a number of publications.
They spoke off the record, in December 2021, to Outkick and expressed frustration, despair and anger.
“One year doesn’t mean anything,” one teammate reportedly remarked. “What about the years of puberty as a male, the male growth you went through as a man?”
Another of Thomas’ teammates reportedly told Outkick that other swimmers on the UPenn team are often upset and cry, knowing Thomas will beat them.
“They feel so discouraged because, no matter how much work they put in it, they’re going to lose,” she said. “Usually, they can get behind the blocks and know they out-trained all their competitors and they’re going to win and give it all they’ve got.”
Congress amended the federal Education Act, in 1972, to promote more opportunities for females attending U.S. colleges. One of the benefits was providing equal numbers of programs for athletes. Some wonder, though, how long women will have separate sports if men can take hormones for a year and then dominate their teammates based on biological advantages.
Will Thomas was a relative unknown when he swam with the men at Penn. After he declared himself a transgender woman and began swimming with the women, he became a household word. First, Thomas was generating news based on performance in the swim meets he consistently won by large margins. As national outrage grew, though, Thomas became the poster child for someone gaming the system for an unfair competitive advantage.
Thomas Thursday won an NCAA Championship 500-yard freestyle match. The transgender swimmer finished the race with a time of 4:33.24, more than a full second ahead of second place finisher Emma Weyant.
Critics took to Twitter following Thomas’ controversial win. Some argued it set a bad precedent that it may spell the end of women’s sports. Others congratulated Weyant, saying she was the real winner, in their eyes.
“Round of applause for Emma Weyant, the UVA swimmer who placed second in the 500y freestyle tonight, behind Lia Thomas,” posted Angela Morabito. “Second is the new first. “
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