Conflict arose when a biological female athlete who tied with a transgender athlete was not allowed to hold the trophy for the official photos.
The National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) has been accused by University of Kentucky swimmer Riley Gaines, a female-born athlete, of showing its pro-LGBT agenda through favoritism to transgender swimmer Lia Thomas after the two tied for fifth place at the recent NCAA Women's Swimming Championship in Atlanta, Georgia. Gaines and Thomas tied in the 200-yard freestyle competition on March 17, but was told that Thomas would hold the fifth-place trophy and she would hold the sixth place trophy in the official photos.
Gaines told Fox News during a conversation with the host of "Tucker Carlson Tonight" on Wednesday that "the NCAA handled everything extremely poorly" with regards to the photo-op.
"When we finished, and I went behind the podium to collect my fifth-place trophy ... they kind of blatantly told me that Lia would hold the fifth-place trophy," Gaines recounted her experience having been forced to take the sixth place trophy so that Thomas, who is a man who identifies and competes as a woman, could take the fifth place trophy.
Gaines was also told shee "could pose with the sixth-place trophy for photos and would be mailed a fifth-place trophy." When the female-born athlete asked an NCAA official why the fifth-place trophy was given to Thomas, he reportedly replied, "We're giving it in chronological order."
When Gaines argued that both she and Thomas were tied in fifth place, the NCAA official replied, "We're just going to give the trophy to Lia, we respect and admire your swim, but Lia needs to hold the trophy."
According to the Christian Headlines, both she and other swimmers who were standing by and hearing her conversation with the NCAA official were all "shocked." She added that she was "standing right next to Lia, and she heard it all, and so it was baffling that this could happen."
During the last few months, Thomas had been making headlines in the U.S. for competing as a woman and breaking women's swimming records despite being a male-born athlete who has not yet undergong transgender surgery to remove his male reproductive parts. Thomas also won first place in the 500-yard freestyle at the same swimming championship competition.
Gains argued that "the NCAA wasn't prepared for a situation like this" and that ""when they were faced with it, they protected such a small minority and turned their back on what the organization and Title IX really stands for."
Gaines referred to Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which was created to protect women and girls' equal opportunities in education, including sports. The female-born athlete argued that allowing an athlete "with a biological advantage" to compete against women is a form of "cheating."
Gaines argued that there was "difference between your sex and your gender identity" and that this has been "totally misconstrued and lost" in the last few years. She added that it is now "completely violating women and women's rights, especially in sports."
According to the Christian Post, more conservative states are pushing back against the pro-LGBT agenda, with Arizona, Iowa, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Utah establishing laws to protect women's rights in sports.