Collegiate Athletes Sue NCAA For Allowing Men To Compete In Women’s Sports

( – In March 2022, University of Kentucky swimmer Riley Gaines competed in the women’s 200 freestyle race at the NCAA Division I Women’s Championship. She placed fifth in the race, tying with swimmer Lia Thomas, a transgender athlete. While Gaines reportedly admitted both she and her competitor worked hard at the sport, she was upset she didn’t get to hold the only 5th place trophy — Thomas did. The incident was the start of her crusade to keep transgender athletes out of women’s sports.

On March 14, Gaines and 15 other athletes filed a lawsuit against the NCAA regarding its policies that allow transgender women to compete in women’s sports. The class action suit, filed in the US District Court of the Northern District of Georgia in Atlanta, claims the association is harming women by “enforc[ing] eligibility rules” that “undermine the foundational principle of equal treatment for women.” The plaintiffs allege that the NCAA has incorporated a “radical anti-woman agenda on college sports” by allowing transgender women to participate and compete against those who were born female.

Gaines and the others also stated that NCAA policies allow for individuals with male genitalia to use women’s locker rooms and undress in front of athletes who were born with female genitalia without their consent. They said the practice takes away their “safe spaces” and violates their right to keep their own bodies private. Gaines announced the lawsuit on social media, stating she and her co-plaintiffs all “lost out on titles, records, & roster spots” to transgender women. The former swimmer claimed the NCAA is violating their civil rights and it’s “about time someone did something about it.”

The association released a statement to Newsweek about the lawsuit. The spokesperson said the “NCAA does not comment on pending litigation,” but the association promises to continue making “unprecedented investments in women’s sports and ensure fair competition.”

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