This week, Lia Thomas, a biological male, will compete in the women’s NCAA National Swimming Championship. He has already won events at the Ivy League Championships, and now he has his eye on the National Championship.
This is a crisis moment for women’s rights.
Growing up, I watched my sister become a world-class softball player. I watched her toil in early mornings, late nights, two-a-day practices, and long tournaments away from home. I watched my family sacrifice time, money, and opportunities for her to achieve her dream of playing softball in the NCAA Tournament. She, and we, did all this because she loved to play—she was at her happiest when her bat connected with the ball for a homerun. And even though she is a successful professional in the workforce now, I know she misses playing every day.
She, and so many other women like her, represent a crowning achievement of the fight for women’s rights. Thanks to Title IX and the hard work of women in generations past, girls and women have equal opportunity in education and athletics.
Now, the NCAA is putting all of those opportunities at risk.
The reality is that males, particularly men who have gone through puberty, retain significant physical advantages over women even after hormone treatment. And in college sports, where the competition is tighter and the margins slimmer, those advantages mean the difference between winning and losing.
When Lia Thomas competed with men, he was ranked below #400. Now that he competes against women, Lia Thomas is ranked #1.
The American people agree: in a Gallup poll last year, 62 percent of U.S. adults thought that “transgender athletes…should only be allowed to play on sports teams that match their birth gender.” Another poll from Morning Consult and Politico found a similar result.
Family Policy Alliance is standing for the rights of young women to pursue their athletic dreams, and for a level playing field as they pursue scholarships, championships and even career opportunities. Since the launch of our #SaveGirlsSports campaign in 2020, six states have passed laws that protecting female athletes all the way through college; states like Arizona, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Louisiana, and Missouri all have the opportunity to pass similar bills protecting female college athletes this year.
Your partnership with Family Policy Alliance helps make this possible.
The bottom line is this: Lia Thomas will probably win the National Championship events he swims in—but even if he doesn’t, he will have taken the place of a deserving young woman who’s worked her whole life for the dream of being there and standing on a podium. A woman like my sister – or like your sister, or wife or daughter – or even like yourself.
Let’s turn the tide.
Joseph Kohm III
Public Policy DIrector
P.S. The Left wants this moment to mark the beginning of a trend. But we know that it should be a wake-up call to protect athletes across the nation. Will you help make that reality?