Riley Gaines, 15 Other Female Athletes Sue NCAA for Allowing Biological Males to Compete in Women’s Sports

2024-03-14 14:00:46

Sixteen current and former female athletes filed a lawsuit against the NCAA over its transgender policy that allows biological males to compete in female sports. They are:

  • Riley Gaines – Swimmer, University of Kentucky
  • Reka Gyorgy – Swimmer, Virginia Tech
  • Kylee Alons – Swimmer, North Carolina State
  • Kaitlynn Wheeler – Swimmer, University of Kentucky
  • Ainsley Erzen – Soccer and Track, University of Arkansas
  • Ellie Eades – Tennis, University of Kentucky
  • Lily Mullens – Swimmer, Roanoke College
  • Kate Pearson – Swimmer, Roanoke College
  • Susanna Price – Swimmer, Roanoke College
  • Carter Satterfield – Swimmer, Roanoke College
  • Katie Blankenship – Swimmer, Roanoke College
  • Julianna Morrow – Swimmer, Roanoke College

Four athletes did not want to be named to avoid retribution and reprisal.

The Independent Council on Women’s Sports (ICONS) funded the lawsuit.

“This lawsuit against the NCAA isn’t just about competition; it’s a fight for the very essence of women’s sports,” said ICONS Co-Founder Marshi Smith, a collegiate All-American and NCAA national champion swimmer. “We’re standing up for justice and the rights of female athletes to compete on a level playing field. It’s about preserving the legacy of Title IX and ensuring that the future of women’s sports is as bright as its past.”

ICONS filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division, seeking damages, declaratory, equitable, and class relief, and demands a jury trial.

The lawsuit reminds everyone that Congress enacted Title IX “to increase women’s opportunities.”

That means the NCAA cannot allow a policy that allows males to replace women on women’s teams or place them in the women’s locker room.

If you can interchange males and females, then we wouldn’t need Title IX.

“The NCAA’s Transgender Eligibility Policies on their face and in practice deprive women of equal opportunity in comparison to men in college sports governed by the NCAA,” the lawsuit states. “The sole justification of the Association for its discriminatory Transgender Eligibility Policies, which are imposed by the NCAA upon all member colleges and universities in NCAA Divisions I, II and III, is that biological differences between males and females can allegedly be overcome by a program of testosterone suppression in males who identify as transgender.”

The policy literally cuts down women to testosterone. That’s it: “Testosterone suppression and personal choice alone can make a male eligible to compete on a women’s sports team.”

Former University of Kentucky swimmer Riley Gaines, who has become the face of the fight to preserve women’s sports, joined the lawsuit

“We’re not just fighting for ourselves, we’re fighting for every young girl who dreams of competing in sports,” said Riley Gaines. “I’m thankful for ICONS’ commitment to our cause, especially their financial commitment allowing us to take this to court. I urge anyone who cares about protecting women’s sport to help get behind us.”

The lawsuit mentions the 2022 Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships, where UPenn swimmer Lia Thomas dominated many races, denying biological females a chance to win.

Allowing Thomas to compete also meant Thomas had access to the female showers, locker rooms, and restrooms.

This deprived female athletes of a safe space where they could “protect their bodily privacy” and “prepare for athletic competition.”

“These purposeful actions by the NCAA in coordination with public colleges and universities and others, including one or more of the Georgia Individual Defendants, upended and undermined the competitive seasons, mental and emotional health and well-being, and academic and athletic experiences of hundreds of female swimmers and their families,” the athletes claim.


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Riley Gaines, 15 Other Female Athletes Sue NCAA for Allowing Biological Males to Compete in Women’s Sports


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