Yet another member of University of Pennsylvania women's swimming team is speaking out over teammate Lia Thomas, a transgender swimmer who is biologically male.
What is the background?
Thomas began gaining attention last month after shattering women's swimming records. Before joining the women's team, Thomas competed for three years on the mens' swimming team, and was even good enough to make second-team All-Ivy League in the 2018-2019 swimming season.
That means Thomas is not just winning races — Thomas is annihilating competition.
One member of the UPenn's women's swimming team anonymously spoke out against Thomas last week, explaining that having Thomas on the team is "the wrong thing to do."
"Pretty much everyone individually has spoken to our coaches about not liking this. Our coach [Mike Schnur] just really likes winning. He’s like most coaches. I think secretly everyone just knows it’s the wrong thing to do,” the female swimmer told Outkick. “When the whole team is together, we have to be like, ‘Oh my gosh, go Lia, that’s great, you’re amazing.’ It’s very fake."
What happened now?
A second member of the swimming team spoke out against Thomas late last week, explaining the entire team is "angry" over the unfair situation.
The new comments came after a team meeting in which team officials "strongly advised" the women's team against speaking to media about the situation involving Thomas. However, the second women spoke out because she believed it was important to relay how her teammates feel.
"They feel so discouraged because no matter how much work they put in it, they’re going to lose," she told Outkick. "Usually, they can get behind the blocks and know they out-trained all their competitors and they’re going to win and give it all they’ve got."
"Now they’re having to go behind the blocks knowing no matter what, they do not have the chance to win. I think that it’s really getting to everyone," the woman added.
The member of UPenn's women's swimming team also alleged that Thomas is bragging about demolishing the competition and being No. 1 in the country.
"Well, obviously she’s No. 1 in the country because she’s at a clear physical advantage after having gone through male puberty and getting to train with testosterone for years," the swimmer told Outkick. "Of course you’re No. 1 in the country when you’re beating a bunch of females. That’s not something to brag about."
The woman also said:
Honestly, this is so upsetting to us because we want to be acknowledged for our hard work, but it seems like this just keeps overshadowing us. Put Lia out of the picture — we have a really good team this year. We have one of the best teams we’ve had in years, and that’s being overshadowed by [Lia].
Even without Lia, we had the chance to win the Ivy League this year, which is a huge deal for us. We train every single day and give up so much for this sport. And I love swimming. I do it because I love it. It’s been a part of my life forever, and this is a slap in the face that the NCAA doesn’t care about the integrity of women’s sports.
This is such a cloud over everything. A cloud in the locker room, especially the last few days because we all know of how things have changed in the last week.
Thomas responded to some of the controversy surrounding her competing on a women's team despite being biologically male. You can watch that interview below:
Penn's Lia Thomas Opens Up On Journey, Transition To Women's Swimming www.youtube.com
Editor's note: This story erroniously stated that Lia Thomas is a swimmer at Penn State; Thomas, however, is a swimmer at the University of Pennsylvannia. We regret the error.