Lia Thomas' Teammate Comes Forward To Reveal How UPenn's Athletic Department "Wanted To Keep Us Quiet"

Paula Scanlan appeared anonymously in "What Is a Woman?" but now she has revealed her identity in order to fight for same-sex spaces and women's sports.

By Gina Florio3 min read
dw paula
Daily Wire

When conservative commentator Matt Walsh started confronting gender theory activists online years ago, he kept asking one simple question in order to give them an opportunity to clarify their beliefs: What is a woman? When he realized that none of the activists and trans individuals could answer the question, he created a Daily Wire documentary called What Is a Woman? It quickly became one of the most watched documentaries of the year, and when it was released on Twitter to view for free, it gained 50 million views in the first day and now has more than 170 million views in total.

In the film, Walsh interviews a teammate of Lia Thomas, the trans-identified man who joined the women's swimming team at the University of Pennsylvania after taking a year off to undergo hormone replacement therapy. When he started competing against women, he broke multiple records, won numerous medals (including a national championship), and dominated the sport, leaving many female athletes in the dust after they had spent many years preparing to win. His teammate appeared anonymously in the documentary; her face was dark, and her voice had been altered. But now that young woman is stepping forward to reveal her identity and tell more of her story. She believes that it's time to publicly fight for women's right to compete in same-sex sports.

Lia Thomas' Teammate Steps Forward To Reveal Her Identity

Paula Scanlan is an athlete who swam on Lia Thomas' team at UPenn, and she decided to sit down publicly with Matt Walsh to share her perspective on what it was like to compete on the same team as Thomas. She joins a growing list of female athletes, including former University of Kentucky swimming star Riley Gaines, in voicing concerns about fairness in women's sports. Gaines, who competed directly against Thomas and as a result came in second place, has become a vocal advocate for female athletes' rights. She expresses worries about female competitors being "displaced" by male-to-female transgender athletes, potentially losing opportunities in their respective sports.

The debate also extends beyond the competition field. Concerns have been raised about the implications of having athletes who are biologically male but identify as female sharing locker room facilities with women, adding a layer of complexity to an already challenging discourse. Scanlan reveals that she and her teammates were essentially coerced into being quiet about Thomas joining the women's team, and that they should accept it as if it were a good thing for the whole school.

"There was something going on in that athletic department that wanted to keep us quiet," she said, citing a formal meeting from which Thomas was notably excluded. "Don't talk to the media, you will regret it," they were told. To clarify, Walsh asked if that was a direct quote. She confirmed that it was. They also told Scanlan and her teammates, "Lia's swimming is a non-negotiable." Counseling services were provided for the young women in order for them to come to terms with Thomas' participation on the team.

Scanlan said she wanted to be a good teammate. "Your job as a teammate is to support your teammate," she said. However, she recognized quickly that supporting your teammate doesn't mean you turn a blind eye to injustice.

"Think about Lance Armstrong—do you think Lance Armstrong's teammates were supposed to be supportive of doping?" she said. This is why she decided not to stay quiet about this injustice. Scanlan, a devoted Catholic, was wrestling with trying to be loving of all people while also ensuring that women had the fair opportunity to compete against other women in sports. She wanted to make it clear that she has no hatred for Thomas. She simply cannot allow this kind of unfair behavior to take place without speaking up.

Walsh shared the interview on his Twitter page, announcing that Scanlan came to him recently and said she "is ready to come out publicly and tell her story." There have been thousands of retweets, shares, and comments already, and the majority of people who have watched it are supportive of Scanlan's decision to come forward.

Walsh also tweeted that he was particularly disturbed by the "psychological manipulation" that came from the school. Coaches and various leaders at UPenn "made the real girls on the team question their own common sense and judgment." Even though they all knew it was wrong for Thomas to compete against women, they produced a "gaslighting campaign" that was "extremely effective."

Scanlan responded to this tweet and demanded that the universities be held accountable. "They have made these radical views endemic in America," she agreed.

In the interview, Scanlan also talked about how universities such as UPenn are desperate to push their progressive agenda into people's minds. This has resulted in a suppression of free speech as well as a growth of radical ideas that have produced truly detrimental outcomes for many women across the country. Sadly, most women are too scared to come forward to speak out against it because the people in charge have made it very clear that they could lose everything.

Scanlan's coming forward and revealing her identity is the true definition of bravery. Just like Riley Gaines risked everything, Paula Scanlan is putting a target on her back to come forward and tell the truth about what is really happening inside universities. She has opened herself up to violence, doxxing, online harassment, and the potential loss of future professional opportunities. But Scanlan realizes that it's necessary to come forward and stand her ground because it makes a huge difference for the young women who enter women's sports and universities after her.

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