The dominance of trans college swimming Lia Thomas in the pool has led to a letter from outraged Penn parents about women’s sports.
Thomas has shattered records and dominated women’s swimming competitions this year. Parents expressed their outrage in a letter to the NCAA to allow University of Pennsylvania transgender swimmer Lia Thomas to compete to win women’s competitions.
In the letter, angry parents of other female swimmers at the school demanded that the college athletics’ governing body issue a rule change.
Thomas is a transgender student at Penn and dominated the 500-yard freestyle preliminary and final races held at the University of Akron recently.
Thomas broke the Ivy League record with a winning time of 4:34:06 in the finals and set new school records in the 200-yard and 1,650-yard freestyle.
Previously, Thomas competed as a male athlete on the Ivy League school’s men’s team for three years. Thomas’ dominance on the women’s team has renewed criticism over the NCAA’s allowance of transgender women to compete against biological females.
According to a report in The Daily Mail, parents of 10 swimmers sent a letter to Penn athletics officials, the NCAA, and Ivy League officials over their concerns about keeping the integrity of women’s sports.
The letter stated, “At stake here is an integrity of women’s sports. The precedent being set — one in which women do not have a protected and equitable space to compete — is a direct threat to female athletes in every sport.
:What are boundaries? How is this in line with the NCAA’s to commitment to providing a fair environment for student-athletes?”
The letter continued, “It is the responsibility of the NCAA to address the matter with an official statement. As the governing body, it is unfair and irresponsible to leave the onus on Lia, Lia’s teammates, Lia’s coaches, UPenn athletes, and the Ivy League. And it is unfair and irresponsible to Lia to allow the media to dictate the narrative without the participation of the NCAA.”
Response from Penn
The NCAA has yet to respond to the letter. Still, the University of Pennsylvania did respond in a statement that read, “Please know that we fully support all our swimming student-athletes and want to help our community navigate Lia’s success in the pool this winter. Penn Athletes is committed to being a welcoming and inclusive environment for all our student-athletes, coaches, and staff, and we hold true to that commitment today and in the future.”
The university continued, “We’ve encouraging our student-athletes to utilize the robust resources available to them at Penn, and I’d like to share them with you as well.”
NCAA rules state that a transgender woman can’t compete with women’s teams until after undergoing testosterone suppression treatment for one year.
Recently, Thomas shrugged off the criticism, saying the NCAA rules are fair and “promote competition integrity.” The NCAA has also defended the policy, where suppression treatment is required, as part of the organization’s vision for “fair competition.”
In April, the NCAA said, “The NCAA Board of Governors firmly and unequivocally supports the opportunity for transgender student-athletes to compete in college sports. This commitment is grounded in our values of inclusion and fair competition.”
The statement continued, “The NCAA has a long-standing policy that provides a more inclusive path for transgender participation in college sports.
“Our approach — which requires testosterone suppression treatment for transgender women to compete in women’s sports — embraces the evolving science on this issue and is anchored in participation policies of both the International Olympic Committee and the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee. Inclusion and fairness can coexist for all student-athletes, including transgender athletes, at all levels of sport.”