Wimbledon champion Martina Navratilova is tearing into the NCAA for allowing the nomination of Lia Thomas — a male who identifies as a female — for “Woman of the Year.”
The University of Pennsylvania nominated Thomas, a swimmer for the college, for the prize. Thomas shot to fame after becoming the first transgender NCAA champion in Division 1 sports, winning the women’s 500-yard freestyle in March, despite being a male.
Navratilova, for her part, took to Twitter to rebuke the NCAA for allowing Thomas’ nomination.
This is not the first time the pro-LGBT tennis champion has spoken out about transgender athletes competing on women’s sports teams.
“It’s not about excluding transgender women from winning, ever,” she explained to News Nation in March. “But it is about not allowing them to win when they were not anywhere near winning as men. You try to keep it as close as possible to what it would have been had you been born in the female biological body in the first place.”
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During the last season in which Thomas competed alongside men in 2018 and 2019, the swimmer ranked 554th in the 200 freestyle, 65th in the 500 freestyle, and 32nd in the 1650 freestyle.
Navratilova is not the only one who has spoken out against Thomas’ nomination for “Woman of the Year.”
On Monday night, University of Kentucky swimmer Riley Gaines — who was also nominated for the NCAA honor — told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson it was a “slap in the face” to learn about Thomas’ nomination.
“It’s a mockery and that’s what this whole thing has turned into,” Gaines said. “Something we as female athletes dedicated our whole lives to, is something that people are laughing at. It’s an insult, it’s incredibly disheartening and, quite frankly, it’s wrong.”
“That’s what we’re doing at this point — is laughing at women,” she added.
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