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Tipsheet

ESPN Ripped for Who the Network Highlighted for Women's History Month

Riley Gaines, a 12-time All-American female swimmer, blasted ESPN for highlighting the accomplishments of a biological male during the network’s coverage of Women’s History Month.

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“In 2022, swimmer Lia Thomas became the first transgender athlete to win an NCAA Division I Championship by winning the 500 Freestyle,” the ESPN segment says. “The Texas native competed for three seasons on the men’s swim team at the University of Pennsylvania.”

The “Celebrating Women’s History Month” special included Thomas acknowledging the backlash over her transition but insisting it was not to be successful in the pool. 

“People will say, ‘Oh, she just transitioned so she would have an advantage so she could win,’” Thomas says. “I transitioned to be happy.”

But Gaines, along with many others, denounced the network for including Thomas in the segment and called for a boycott of ESPN.

“Lia Thomas is not a brave, courageous woman who EARNED a national title. He is an arrogant, cheat who STOLE a national title from a hardworking, deserving woman. The @ncaa is responsible. If I was a woman working at ESPN, I would walk out. You're spineless @espn #boycottESPN

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