Parents Speak Out Against UPenn Trans Swimmer
The group of 10 UPenn parents, according to a report from the New York Post, are demanding Thomas be barred from future women’s events while calling the current rules a “direct threat to female athletes in every sport.” They went on to send a letter to the NCAA and was forwarded to the Ivy League and university officials.“At stake here is the integrity of women’s sports,” the parents reportedly wrote in the letter also forwarded to the Ivy League and university officials. The precedent being set – one in which women do not have a protected and equitable space to compete – is a direct threat to female athletes in every sport,” the parents wrote in the letter. “What are the boundaries? How is this in line with the NCAA’s commitment to providing a fair environment for student-athletes?”
Prior to Thomas setting records in the women’s division, he spent three years as part of the UPenn men’s swim team — where she said she faced “severe backlash.”
During a Nov. 20 meet including Princeton and Cornell, Thomas set school records in the 200-meter freestyle and the 500-meter freestyle. A few weeks later, Thomas broke her own 200-meter freestyle record with a time of 1:41.93 — the fastest finish for a female in the nation this year.
While competing as a male, Thomas was also an accomplished swimmer. She qualified for the Ivy League Championships in the 500 free, 1000 free, and 1650 free in her 2018 and 2019 seasons, finishing second overall in each event in 2019.
According to the Post’s report, the university did send a follow-up message to the group of parents that included a link to the school’s mental health services and the LGBT Center.
“Please know that we fully support all our swimming student-athletes and want to help our community navigate Lia’s success in the pool this winter,” the university wrote. “Penn Athletics is committed to being a welcoming and inclusive environment for all our student-athletes, coaches, and staff and we hold true to that commitment today and in the future.”
To read the full story from the New York Post, click here.