The parents vocalized their concerns and calls for change to Fox News after a home meet where the record-breaking transgender UPenn swimmer Lia Thomas competed yet again.
“It starts with the NCAA,” said the parents of one UPenn swimmer. “I think the NCAA needs to change its policies and find a way to include transgender women without trampling all over biological women.”
“Penn hosted Dartmouth College and Yale University at a swim meet Saturday,” Fox News reported. “Thomas, a senior, won the 200-yard freestyle (1:48.73), the 500-yard freestyle (4:57.20), and finished fifth in the 100-yard freestyle (52.84).”
“I think that this is obviously an issue and they should probably just look at how they're going to handle it and maybe handle it better in the future because right now they're not handling it so well,” said UPenn swimming parent Sue Feldman.
Thomas didn't just dominate – for the most part – this past weekend. But the senior from Texas also broke two national records at a meet last month.
Despite his dominance in the water, the Ivy League and its member schools have voiced nothing but support for Thomas and given little or no mention of the female swimmers he's dominated.
The Ivy League affirmed its “unwavering commitment” to providing an “inclusive environment” for Thomas.
“Over the past several years, Lia and the University of Pennsylvania worked with the NCAA to follow all of the appropriate protocols in order to comply with the NCAA policy on transgender athlete participation and compete on the Penn women's swimming and diving team. The Ivy League has adopted and applies the same NCAA policy,” the conference said in a Thursday statement.
“The Ivy League reaffirms its unwavering commitment to providing an inclusive environment for all student-athletes while condemning transphobia and discrimination in any form,” the statement continued.
The Ivy League releases the following statement of support regarding Penn's Lia Thomas' participation on the women's swimming and diving team. 🌿 pic.twitter.com/wdEDW4ud5O
— The Ivy League (@IvyLeague) January 6, 2022
“The league welcomes her participation in the sport of women's swimming and diving and looks forward to celebrating the success of all of our student-athletes throughout the season,” the statement concluded.
The University of Pennsylvania gave a similar statement of support.
— Penn Quakers (@pennathletics) January 6, 2022
Parents at UPenn aren't the only ones to voice concern over the unfair advantage enjoyed by Thomas. A parent of a Dartmouth swimmer told Fox, “it's not fair to girls that have swum since they were 6 years old to compete…for someone who had a chance at winning the Ivy League Championship and that dream is shattered.”
The parents of another Penn swimmer talked about how their daughter, who competes in the same events as Thomas, had been directly impacted by the trans swimmer.
“When she came on to the team, she had dreams of maybe breaking some records, things like that and that may not be possible now,” the parents said. “And she's angry that she sees her friends being bumped from relays or a roster that travels to a meet.”
The NCAA has not said whether they intend to change any of the rules regarding transgender competition.