Opinion: The Only Reason Lia Thomas Is Breaking Women's Swim Records And Snatching Up Medals Is Because Everyone Is Allowing Him To

The NCAA women's swimming and diving championship is currently taking place in Atlanta, and William Thomas (who now goes by Lia) is competing against female swimmers.

By Gina Florio3 min read
Lia Thomas NCAA

Not surprisingly, William Thomas is cleaning house. He won the 500-yard freestyle swim by five full seconds, and today he won the 200-yard preliminaries. He's competing tonight in the 200-yard finals and will swim in the 100-yard freestyle this weekend. When Thomas stood on the podium to receive his medal for the 500-yard freestyle win, the crowd went quiet as his name was announced. There was some booing. One person even yelled, "He's a man!"

A group of protestors was also outside the Georgia Tech recreation center, where the NCAA Championships were being held. Women held up signs that said "Save Women's Sports" and "Stand Up 4 Women" as they told journalists that they were standing up for the female athletes who were being humiliated and ignored for the sake of William Thomas.

While it's all well and good that people are protesting and booing Thomas' participation in women's sports, I can't help but think to myself: why are these women competing against Thomas at all? Why are they playing along with this charade?

William Thomas Is Stealing Medals and Records Because People Are Allowing Him To

It's no question that William Thomas is a cheater who couldn't make it on the men's swimming team (he was ranked 462nd) so he decided to invade women's sports, all the while swinging around his penis in the ladies' locker room and telling his teammates that he was still attracted to women. So he's a loser and a creep. Not that we should even have to defend this position, but there's no question that Thomas' participation in women's sports is wildly unfair. There's a vast amount of evidence showing that high school male athletes blow female Olympians' records out of the water.

But the only reason that Thomas is raking in any kinds of wins in women's sports is because people are allowing him to.

There will always be freaks, weirdos, con artists, and predators who try to pull a fast one on us. The world will never be entirely rid of these people no matter how much we want them to disappear. It's our responsibility to protect our children, our family, and our community from bad actors like William Thomas – not just let them swoop in and disrupt same-sex spaces such as women's sports.

What we're witnessing at the NCAA Championships is an utter failure of parents and community members to protect young women from a man who is invading their sport. One could even go so far as to say that they lost the right to be upset about Thomas' participation in the tournament the moment they allowed their daughters to enroll in the same championship. By even showing up to the pool alongside Thomas, they consent to the notion that this man belongs with female athletes.

We're witnessing an utter failure of parents and community members to protect young women from a man who is invading their sport.

Although it's somewhat satisfying to see the picture of the three female swimmers gathered at one end of the podium together, deliberately leaving Thomas at the other end by himself, they shouldn't even be up there in the first place. Not a single one of those female swimmers should be participating in this clown show, and if they refused to take part in this charade, Thomas would have never even been on that podium in the first place.

I understand that the common response to this is something along the lines of "They have scholarships and sponsorships on the line!" I'm under no illusion that it's a huge risk to stand up against the mainstream wave of accepting biological men into same-sex spaces, but that's the price we will have to pay to prevent people like Thomas from making a mockery of women's sports.

Feminists have been one of the loudest and at times most obnoxious groups of activists in our culture. They complain about the so-called gender wage gap (which we know is a myth), access to contraception, higher tax on female product such as tampons, etc. This is the group of individuals who preach about how important it is to "take up space" and be loud about their intentions, hence the large women's marches and disruptive protests. But when push comes to shove, none of these so-called feminists have shown up to protect women's sports – and I think it's safe to say that there are many parents whose daughters are swimming in the NCAA Championships that categorize themselves as feminists. Yet when it's most important to speak up and defend women, they're nowhere to be found.

It's easier said than done, especially in a scenario like this when the mainstream machines are publicly supportive of Thomas' participation (he was even on the cover of Sports Illustrated). But even a minority of students, parents, and coaches could make a huge impact on whether Thomas even swims in these meets. We know that if we want to see change happen on a large scale, it all starts locally. There's an emphasis on voting locally for a reason, because "think globally, act locally" is a very real thing.

All of the parties involved – athletes, coaches, administrators, parents, etc. – had multiple chances to stand up and demand that Thomas be barred from the competitions or to pull their daughters from the meet altogether until the NCAA creates a fair space for women to compete. But they've failed to take any of those chances and they've failed to act locally, leaving all of these young women to lose out on medals, broken records, and possibly future scholarships or recognitions.

Closing Thoughts

I do feel sorry for these female swimmers, especially since some of them probably entered this school year with scholarships, having no idea that they were about to face this kind of adversity. That's why I look to the parents and coaches as the ones at fault, even more so than Thomas. If the adults had some guts, they would've put a stop to this nonsense a long time ago.

Besides, this fight is bigger than this one tournament at the end of the day. The coaches and parents have a unique opportunity to shift the nation's conversation about men participating in women's sports. This isn't just a chance to protect their own daughters; it's a chance to send a clear message that has an impact on many generations to come. Because if we don't set a precedent now, we're opening the door for men to infiltrate all women's sports across the board. Surely it's worth sacrificing a scholarship or a year of college in order to take a strong stand and globally ensure that this kind of injustice never happens again to future female athletes.